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Mystery Hole found on Mars

A weird hole on Mars has been discovered — the 35 meter opening is very strange and there doesn’t appear to be a logical explanation. The hole in the middle of a depression (crater) appears to have a opening (cave) about 20 meters deep.

A Hole in Mars

Caves and Craters – A Hole in Mars

What created this unusual hole in Mars? The hole was discovered by chance on images of the dusty slopes of Mars’ Pavonis Mons volcano taken by the HiRISE instrument aboard the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently circling Mars. The hole appears to be an opening to an underground cavern, partly illuminated on the image right. Analysis of this and follow-up images revealed the opening to be about 35 meters across, while the interior shadow angle indicates that the underlying cavern is roughly 20 meters deep. Why there is a circular crater surrounding this hole remains a topic of speculation, as is the full extent of the underlying cavern. Holes such as this are of particular interest because their interior caves are relatively protected from the harsh surface of Mars, making them relatively good candidates to contain Martian life. These pits are therefore prime targets for possible future spacecraft, robots, and even human interplanetary explorers.

Source: A Hole in Mars (Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Crater with Dark Center at Pavonis Mons

Crater with Dark Center at Pavonis Mons

Earlier this year, the CTX camera team saw a crater containing a dark spot on the dusty slopes of the Pavonis Mons volcano … The dark spot turned out to be a “skylight,” an opening to an underground cavern, that is 35 meters (115 feet) across. Caves often form in volcanic regions like this when lava flows solidify on top, but keep flowing underneath their solid crust. These, now underground, rivers of lava can then drain away leaving the tube they flowed through empty. We can use the shadow cast on the floor of the pit to calculate that it is about 20 meters (65 feet) deep.

Source: Caves and Craters

Martian pit feature discovered by California 7th graders

Martian pit feature discovered by California 7th graders

Update: 24th July 2012
Just found an earlier image of the cave/opening. California 7th graders discovered this Martian pit feature at the center of the superimposed red square in this image while participating in a program that enables students to use the camera on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter. The feature, on the slope of an equatorial volcano named Pavonis Mons, appears to be a skylight in an underground lava tube. Full Story.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

 

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11 thoughts on “Mystery Hole found on Mars”

  1. Taylor says:

    Very interesting especially in light of a somewhat similar photographic find on the lunar surface as reported on Space.com. http://www.space.com/8662-rare-hole-moon-photographed.html

    All this is obviously Obama’s fault.

  2. vernonmarsh says:

    You sure that’s a hole? The angle of illumination suggests it’s a bump.

    1. David says:

      Hi, look at it upside down :-)

  3. Ryan says:

    Could it have been a lava dome that collapsed? Giant gas bubble in rock and an earthquake caused it to collapse? Just trying to think outside the box.

  4. scott says:

    It’s TMA1 !!!

  5. Taylor says:

    Scott’s got the answer! Tax Management Assets… It’s where Mitt hides his money!

  6. Norman says:

    Life finally found on mars and its Sarlacc – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarlacc

  7. SMV says:

    Looks like a sink hole to me.

  8. Ace Rimmer says:

    Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image Gallery
    http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/

    If you look at the picture links you will find gaps in the numbering system. If you edit the URL to one of the missing numbers you’ll find some very strange pictures. Basically hiding in plain sight

  9. Taylor says:

    Ace,

    Could you post the images which you refer to?

    T~

  10. Ace Rimmer says:

    It started when I found a reference to “The Glass Tubes” of mars picture. The picture in question did not show on the list. So i saw how the URL’s had the picture’s number in it. I edited the URL number portion to number referenced and found the picture. Then saw that there were a lot of number missing. I started poking around to see what else was hidden. This was yeas ago and no one seemed interested so I just gave up. Id how ever setup a FTP client (back then) script to down load a long range of numbers and found all kinds of weird stuff but as i said no one seems to think it was anything of it. Not all missing numbers are weird but some are very strange. Wish I would have saved some.

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