Skip to comments.Why Does that Martian Crater have a Hole?
Posted on 09/02/2011 2:41:48 PM PDT by Red Badger
Aug. 30, 2011 -- On the slopes of the vast Martian shield volcano Pavonis Mons, a rather odd-looking crater resides. Originally spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) earlier this year, mission managers decided to zoom in on the suspect feature using the awesome power of the MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. Indeed, as HiRISE has confirmed, this is one very odd-looking crater.
From a distance, the crater appeared to have a black spot in its center, looking almost like the bulls eye on a dartboard. But on closer scrutiny the spot turned out to be the collapsed roof of an underground cavern. Similar features have been seen on Mars and the moon before and are commonly referred to as "skylights." However, this skylight is unique in that it formed at the base of a larger crater.
This Pavonis Mons skylight is approximately 35 meters (115 feet) in diameter, and by using the shadow on the cavern's floor as a guide, HiRISE scientists have estimated that the feature is around 20 meters (65 feet) deep, according to the mission's website.
Skylights often form in volcanic regions where ancient lava flows created subsurface lava tubes. When these lava tubes are evacuated, and tube sides hardened by solidified lava, caverns may form. Should the roofs of these caverns collapse, skylights may form.
These features are often eyed as potential candidates for future manned missions to Mars and the moon as they provide access to naturally-occurring sub-surface caves that astronauts could use as shelter for permanent habitats.
The skylight shown here will likely keep scientists guessing for some time as to how it formed at the base of a crater. Is the crater an ancient impact feature that breached the roof of an underlying cavern? Or is it simply an erosion feature where surface material has slumped and drained into the skylight?
Obviously piquing the interesting of HiRISE scientists, the feature will be revisited during an orbital pass later this year so a second high-resolution photo can be snapped. Combining both photos will create a stereo image, hopefully unraveling what caused this strange feature.
That does seem like a perfect place for aliens to hide their human destroying invasion fleet if we don't embrace more EPA regulations and a gigantic carbon tax.
That is clearly one of those spots where the sand swirls around and sucks in the unsuspecting to have that probe inserted into their skull.
While I am all for the fanciful thought of the posts above yours, given that we have no proof otherwise this could be where Obambi came from ...
Invaders from Mars, War of the Worlds et all were super dooper 50’s Sci fI!
maybe it broke through to a cave underneath? There are known to be lavatube-type caves all around Olympus Mons after all
“The light appears to come from the upper right to the lower left of the image.”
Um... your monitor is upside down.
That’s exactly what it looks like!!!
It is nothing but one big mushroom. Yummy.
My guess is a massive explosion turing the crater into a glass like funnel. Fluid erosion ate away at the softer material under the glass funnel leaving a void. Must have had a very wet surface at one time.
You are correct. Shakespeare´s Macbeth has the answer.
Oh man, I could see millions of muslims marching and chanting around that thing
Good heavens, that telescope could see if my car were parked in my driveway on Mars.
First, you haveta get ‘em to Mars.......
If you’re leaving it parked on Mars all the time, you’re just asking for trouble.
That’s where the locals hid those missing landers.