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Mars Gets a White Christmas

One News Page Staff Tuesday, 25 December 2018
Mars Gets a White Christmasby 👩‍💻 Stephanie Boyd

While the odds of getting a white Christmas in certain areas of the world are fairly remote, there are of course locations which are likely to see snowfall all year round. For example – snow during December is going to be far less of a surprise for Canadians and Norwegians than, say, the British or the Irish – where bookmakers genuinely take bets on whether or not there will be snowfall on Christmas Day. The idea of being able to claim a white Christmas at all has become something of a cultural phenomenon. After all, how many times have we seen snow depicted on greetings cards and in holiday movies? The two things just seem to come hand in hand, at least if you live somewhere where frostiness is regularly expected.

However, one place you might not have expected to see a white Christmas occur this year is in outer space. Mars is currently overseeing at least one sheet of ice up in the heavens, at an immense thickness which would set most motorists’ heads spinning. The Kolorev crater, according to recent data and images captured by the European Space Agency, is filled with an 82km stretch of solid ice, which is also around 1.8km thick.

Happy Christmas from Mars!
Happy Christmas from Mars! [video]

The images have returned as a result of composite shots being taken during the Mars Express mission, which has been up in the Milky Way since 2003 – and is in fact set to celebrate its 15th Christmas on Mars. It’s thanks to an incredible high resolution camera that we are able to take a closer look at this Martian ice, which on definition level alone seems extremely bizarre – will this massive chunk of solid water help us find further signs of life potentially dwelling on the red planet?

The ESA images will likely wow those who are already getting behind many efforts launched this year to explore our universe in greater detail. However, do spare a thought for those of us craving snow in arid countries this holiday season – as songs which talk of building snowmen during the festive period offer little other than a cute set of pipe dreams right now!

It’s probably not quite the white Christmas many people would want to get involved with on Earth, however, as ice almost 2km deep sounds particularly hazardous – almost impossible to imagine. Mars’ skate rink is open for business!

Merry Christmas from us at One News Page.

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