European Space Agency releases 1st image from Mars orbiter

The European Space Agency has released the first image taken by its Trace Gas Orbiter showing the ice-covered edge of a vast Martian crater.

Scientists combined three pictures of the Korolev Crater taken from an altitude of 400 kilometers (249 miles) on April 15.

Lead researcher Nicolas Thomas said Thursday the colors in the resulting image were also adjusted to best resemble those visible to the human eye.

The camera used is one of four instruments on board the orbiter, which is designed to look for gases such as methane that could indicate biological or geological activity on Mars.

Thomas said the camera will allow scientists to inspect areas where gases are found, monitor Mars for signs of change and help scout the planet for future landing sites.