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Martian Caves May Harbor Alien Life
Monday, April 02, 2007
By Ker Than
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.
The researchers hope the discovery will lead to more focused spelunking on Mars.
"Caves on Mars could become habitats for future explorers or could be the only structures that preserve evidence of past or present microbial life," said Glenn Cushing of Northern Arizona University, who first spotted the black areas in the photographs.
SOURCE | Fox News