Inside a Martian crater

Joint European-Russian mission produces highly detailed images of the surface of Mars.

The interior of the Kibuye crater on Mars, seen from above.


Rich and varied, the floor of the Kibuye crater on Mars, in the region of Terra Sirenum, looks like an astro-geologist’s dream. Infrared spectrometers on board orbiting surveillance craft have already identified chloride salt and clay minerals, but the naked eye strongly suggests there are many more rocky delights to be discovered.

This image taken by the CaSSIS camera on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft, a joint venture between the European Space Agency and its Russian equivalent, Roscosmos. The camera was developed by researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

The mission launched in 2016 with the aim of detecting gases, such as methane, in the planet’s atmosphere that might indicate the presence of life.

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