Earth’s North Pole is famous for its snowy climes – and for hosting Santa’s workshop, of course.
But as these pictures reveal, it’s not the only planet with snow scenes this holiday season.
This is the Korolev crater, near the north pole of Mars, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Mars Express mission.
The crater is 82km (50 miles) across, and filled with ice 1.8km thick.
It was named after rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev, the architect of the Soviet Union’s space programme.
Mr Korolev worked on the first interplanetary missions to the Moon, Mars and Venus, and the Sputnik programme, which launched the world’s first artificial satellite.
You might also like:
- Sun-skimming probe starts calling home
- Worms blast into space on rocket
- South Pole ‘has a saggy bottom’
- Mars robot to be sent to Oxia Planum
The pictures of the crater are composites made up of shots taken by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera.
The Mars Express mission is the ESA’s first venture to another planet. It was launched on 2 June 2003, and entered Mars’s orbit on Christmas Day that year.