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Middle-school project discovers cave skylight on Mars

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posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 06:50 AM

They went looking for lava tubes on Mars — and found what may be a hole in the roof of a Martian cave.

The 16 students in Dennis Mitchell's 7th-grade science class at Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, Calif., chose to study lava tubes, a common volcanic feature on Earth and Mars. It was their class project for the Mars Student Imaging Program (MSIP), a component of ASU's Mars Education Program, which is run out of the Mars Space Flight Facility on the Tempe campus.

With a lot of ATSers scanning through pictures of Mars i wonder if this one has been spotted before. It would be interesting t find out if it has. But more importantly this seems like a really good program for students to get involved in, the students actually get to control an orbiting camera. It's a program i wish we had when i was at school, it must be very exciting for them.

I'm not sure if there is more than one or the others are just craters.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 07:00 AM
The single 'pure black' spot looks to be a total collapse of the ceiling tube, however, the other 'craters' appear to be collapses along the lava tube that have not broken through yet.

The highlight and shadow of the 'crater' next to the alleged hole seems to indicate the the other is in fact a hole, but it could conceivably just be a very deep collapsed 'crater' where the depth is greater than that which can be highlighted by the Sun's rays.

I studied some of the Undara Lava Tubes in Australia for a while and find this quite interesting. On Earth, lava tubes are an excellent place to find and locate highly specialised organic forms, for instance, moths that adapt their wing colours to reflect their hidden locale.

God Thread!

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 07:34 AM
Looks like a sinkhole to me.
A martian sinkhole.
Maybe the water table lowered there.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 08:11 AM
reply to post by grey580

These sinkholes are spreading, someone should really look into them

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by pazcat

Sorry BUT that doesn't look like a hole, zoom in and look it has a highlight to right it looks like a small mound the shadow thats claimed to be the hole looks no different from the shadows on the larger mounds further along.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 11:26 AM
Yes I believe I do remember a couple of 'Mars Anomoly! OMG!" threads, in Aliens forum that found something similiar, if not the exact one. They claimed it was an entrance to the U.S.'s secret martian base. Anyway back to topic, this is pretty cool. Glad to see the kids getting into space exploration again.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 12:26 PM
reply to post by djvexd

From the article
"This pit is certainly new to us," Cushing told the students. "And it is only the second one known to be associated with Pavonis Mons." He estimated it to be approximately 190-by-160 meters (620x520 feet) wide and 115 meters (380 feet) deep at least.

So i wonder if that rings a bell with any of the anomoly hunters, also i wonder how many may of been spotted that the professionals have missed.

Still, i think it is great that students can get this type of opportunity regardless of what they may find.

Here is the link for the program.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 12:48 PM
Its so black it looks weird, almost fake. It looks like a black tarp. Maybe Nasa didn't want something to be seen.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 12:59 PM
There are far better pics of interest from mars than this one. My personal favorites are the images with obvious image tapering because that lets you know the good stuff is hidden anyway. This is just a hole, not that exiting really, I dont see why they would write about it in the news paper, people find stuff like this at home looking through the images, you dont have to be some expert....

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 02:27 PM
I'm sorry I just don't see a hole

I see a shadow from the rock in front of it and the shadow is at the same angle as the shadows cast from the other rocks.

Now if we saw a picture with the sun in a different position so the shadows lay another way then the picture may be a little more telling.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 05:46 PM
reply to post by Mikey Sly

What rock infront?
I think you are doing well to see a 200 odd meter sized non existent rock casting a shadow and not see a hole.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 10:42 PM
It's certainly possible that this process will lead to additional "discoveries". It may end up being the method used by TPTB to disclose certain things to the public.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 05:08 AM
after exploring lava tubes in the canaries - i always wondered about lava tubes on mars - esp given the massive scale of some of its colcanoes and the low gravity / atmosperic pressure

i now want to go caving on mars

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