Where Did This Large Hole On Mars Come From?
Black spots have been discovered on Mars that are so dark that nothing inside can be seen. Quite possibly, the spots are entrances to deep underground caves.
They may be capable of protecting Martian life, were it to exist. Is this yet another entrance to a secret underground world on Mars? We have previously seen that a football field-sized, dark and very deep hole was discovered on Mars some years ago. Now, a new stunning photo taken by Oribiter’s HIRISE instrument shows a hole about 35 metres across.
A visible shadow shows an underlying cavern believed to be about 20 metres deep. The hole was discovered by chance on images of the dusty slopes of the Red Planet’s Pavonis Mons volcano. It appears to be an opening to an underground cavern, partly illuminated to the right of the opening. A new huge hole discovered on Mars. Image Credit: NASA, JPL, U. Arizona
As NASA explains, “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.”.
This is not the first time, HIRISE has photographed a strange opening on Mars. A few years ago, scientists discovered a giant hole that measures about 330 feet (100 meters) in diameter and is located to the northeast of Arsia Mons, one of the largest volcanoes on Mars.
Scientists think the holes could be entrances to underground Martian caves. Are these giant holes leading to a secret underground world on Mars? The hole measures about 330 feet (100 meters) in diameter and is located to the northeast of Arsia Mons, one of the largest volcanoes on Mars.
According to experts studying the MRO’s images, the feature is not an impact crater; it lacks a circular, raised or ejecta. The hole’s darkness is impenetrable because of its sufficient depth, so any details of the terrain inside it, cannot be seen.
The hole measures about 330 feet (100 meters) in diameter and is located to the northeast of Arsia Mons, one of the largest volcanoes on Mars. Obviously someone or something is responsible for the creation of these giant holes on Mars.
Extensive Water in Mars Interior
They found that the amount of water in places of the Martian mantle is vastly larger than previous estimates and is similar to that of Earth’s.
The results not only affect what we know about the geologic history of Mars, but also have implications for how water got to the Martian surface. The data raise the possibility that Mars could have sustained life.
The research was led by former Carnegie postdoctoral scientist Francis McCubbin, now at the University of New Mexico. The analysis was performed by Carnegie Institution investigator Erik Hauri and team and is published in the journal Geology.
The scientists analyzed what are called shergottite meteorites. These are fairly young meteorites that originated by partial melting of the Martian mantle-the layer under the crust-and crystallized in the shallow subsurface and on the surface.
They came to Earth when ejected from Mars approximately 2.5 million years ago. Meteorite geochemistry tells scientists a lot about the geological processes the planet underwent.
“We analyzed two meteorites that had very different processing histories,” explained Hauri. “One had undergone considerable mixing with other elements during its formation, while the other had not.
“We analyzed the water content of the mineral apatite and found there was little difference between the two even though the chemistry of trace elements was markedly different. The results suggest that water was incorporated during the formation of Mars and that the planet was able to store water in its interior during the planet’s differentiation.”
Based on the mineral’s water content, the scientists estimated that the Martian mantle source from which the rocks were derived contained between 70 and 300 parts per million (ppm) water.
For comparison, the upper mantle on Earth contains approximately 50-300 ppm water. Hauri and team were able to determine these values with new techniques and new standards they developed that can quantify water in apatite using a technology called secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).
“There has been substantial evidence for the presence of liquid water at the Martian surface for some time,” Hauri said. “So it’s been puzzling why previous estimates for the planet’s interior have been so dry. This new research makes sense and suggests that volcanoes may have been the primary vehicle for getting water to the surface.”
McCubbin concluded, “Not only does this study explain how Mars got its water, it provides a mechanism for hydrogen storage in all the terrestrial planets at the time of their formation.” Source: Mars Daily
- Who’s In Charge Of Life On Mars? (davidreneke.com)