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Seven very dark holes on the north slope of a Martian volcano have been proposed as possible cave skylights, based on day-night temperature patterns suggesting they are openings to subsurface spaces. These six excerpts of images taken in visible-wavelength light by the Thermal Emission Imaging System camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter show the seven openings. Solar illumination comes from the left in each frame. The volcano is Arsia Mons, at 9 degrees south latitude, 239 degrees east longitude.
The features have been given informal names to aid comparative discussion. They range in diameter from about 100 meters (328 feet) to about 225 meters (738 feet). The candidate cave skylights are (A) "Dena," (B) "Chloe," (C) "Wendy," (D) "Annie," (E) "Abby" (left) and "Nikki," and (F) "Jeanne." Arrows signify north and the direction of illumination.
Full res here:
Each of the three images in this set covers the same patch of Martian ground, centered on a possible cave skylight informally called "Annie," which has a diameter about double the length of a football field. The Thermal Emission Imaging System camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter took all three, gathering information that the hole is cooler than surrounding surface in the afternoon and warmer than the surrounding surface at night. This is thermal behavior that would be expected from an opening into an underground space.
The left image was taken in visible-wavelength light. The other two were taken in thermal infrared wavelengths, indicating the relative temperatures of features in the image. The center image is from mid-afternoon. The hole is warmer than the shadows of nearby pits to the north and south, while cooler than sunlit surfaces. The thermal image at right was taken in the pre-dawn morning, about 4 a.m. local time. At that hour, the hole is warmer than all nearby surfaces.
Annie and six other features with similar thermal behavior are on the northern slope of a high Martian volcano named Arsia Mons, which is at 9 degrees south latitude, 239 degrees east longitude.
Originally posted by Kozz28
Could these possibly be the caves of past life on mars? Pretty cool that Nasa is actually showing this.
A report of the discovery of the possible CAVE SKYLIGHTS by Cushing and his co-authors was published online recently by the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
"Whether these are just deep vertical shafts or openings into spacious caverns, they are entries to the subsurface of Mars," said co-author Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff. "Somewhere on Mars, caves might provide a protected niche for PAST OR CURRENT LIFE, or shelter for humans in the future."
The discovered holes, dubbed "Seven Sisters," are at some of the highest altitudes on the planet, on a volcano named Arsia Mons near Mars' tallest mountain.
By Emily Lakdawalla
Windows onto the abyss: cave skylights on MarsMay. 23, 2007 | 10:57 PDT | 17:57 UTC
Weblog ArchiveToday's set of image releases from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE team included this one, of a fairly bland-looking lava plain to the northeast of Arsia Mons. Bland, that is, except for a black spot in the center. What's that black spot? It's a window onto an underground world.
The hope for the HiRISE images was that we could see some details from inside the hole. But as you can see by the highly stretched version at right, there is absolutely nothing visible inside that hole. It's black black black black black.
Originally posted by zorgon
reply to post by Havalon
The sides on the hole are from HiRise... they did a second pass over it when the sun was at an angle... but as you can see on the Gautemala one it has sides for a short distance and then nothing. I never got any data on how deep it was but they were afraid more might fall in.
LOL Maybe the Earth and Mars are hollow afterall
Originally posted by zorgon
This was posted by fiftyfifty in the other thread...here
Originally posted by mallory-john
So? Just a meteorid impact. Check our moon, there you can find plenty of so-called "caves". Do you really think there is life on such a deadly atmosphere like Mars? I doubt it strongly.