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The schoolgoers were using the THEMIS to find lava tubes on the Red Plant when they came across a small black feature straddling one of the tubes.
The feature, identified as a cave or "skylight", near the Pavonis Mons volcano was a hole, punched in the top of a hollow tube.
"This pit is certainly new to us," Discovery News quoted Glen Cushing, a US Geological Survey scientist, as saying.
He added: "And it is only the second one known to be associated with Pavonis Mons."
Cushing believes the new skylight is around 190×160 meters wide and at least 115 meters deep.
A Mars-orbiting satellite recently spotted seven dark spots near the planet's equator that scientists think could be entrances to underground caves.
The football-field sized holes were observed by Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and have been dubbed the seven sisters --Dena, Chloe, Wendy, Annie, Abbey, Nikki and Jeanne--after loved ones of the researchers who found them.
The potential caves were spotted near a massive Martian volcano, Arisa Mons. Their openings range from about 330 to 820 feet (100 to 250 meters) wide, and one of them, Dena, is thought to extend nearly 430 feet (130 meters) beneath the planet's surface.
Scientist Penelope Boston thinks there's a good chance -- a 25 to 50 percent chance, in fact -- that life might exist on Mars, deep inside the planet's caves.
She details how we should look and why.