Google+ Mars Travel: Mars Photo of the Day - Feb 11 2012

Mars Photo of the Day - Feb 11 2012

Today's Images of Mars come from the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and show seven different pits on Mars that scientists believe lead to underground caverns. These pits were found over 700km along the side of Arsia Mons, the second largest mountain on Mars, after Olympus Mons.

Cavern entrances like these ones are called skylights. They have no raised rim or ejecta, which differentiates them from impact craters. Can you see the seventh one?

In recent years scientists have suggested that underground caverns like these are likely to be much more suitable to life than the surface, which many believe is presently hostile to life as we know it.

Caverns like the ones below are likely destinations for future manned and unmanned missions to Mars! Some scientists speculate that colonies could be set up inside of caverns because they act as a natural shield to space radiation and the harsh Martian environment.

There are two skylights located in the image labeled "E", making the total number of skylights imaged below seven.

The entrances imaged below are only some of many potential cavern entrances discovered and imaged on Mars. Clicking the images will take you to other Mars Travel posts about skylights. These images were compiled by National Geographic. [See their original short caption for the images]

Images courtesy NASA/JPL/LPI


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