Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


A Hole in Mars
<< Yesterday 1.03.2020 Tomorrow >>
A Hole in Mars
Credit & Copyright: NASA, JPL, U. Arizona
Explanation: What created this unusual hole in Mars? The hole was discovered by chance in 2011 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, shown in representative color, 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.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
 < March 2020  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su






1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031




Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: Mars
Publications with words: Mars
See also:
All publications on this topic >>