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Fraser
2007-May-25, 05:29 PM
When I first saw this image, I thought it was some kind of joke, or Photoshop trick. But nope, this is real. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter has returned images of strange cavern entrances on Mars. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/05/25/dark-caverns-discovered-on-mars/)

jowan
2007-May-25, 07:51 PM
Couldn't it be some kind of liquid that fills a crater?
It seems just as bizar, deep caves like this.

Blob
2007-May-25, 09:09 PM
Couldn't it be some kind of liquid that fills a crater?

Hum,
like the tar monster in Startrek?

Well, i reckon that it hasn't the features of an impact crater and the thermal signatures are different. Also the geological region indicates that it is more likely to be just roof collapses on lava tubes or liquid melt caverns.


<added>There was no thermal imaging with this cave</added>

bigsplit
2007-May-25, 09:24 PM
They are worm holes - Dune is real!!!!!!

John Mendenhall
2007-May-25, 09:39 PM
They are worm holes - Dune is real!!!!!!

Nonsense. Try Edgar Rice Burroughs "The Moon Maid". He describes holes like this very well, he just has the wrong body.

Watch for humanoids with wings (very large wings, considering the martian atmosphere) flitting in and out of the holes.

Seriously, a wonderful week. The more we see, the less we know we know. Astronomy at the present rate of discovery has to be the most humbling of sciences.

Doctor Know
2007-May-26, 01:16 AM
The first sci-fi reference that popped to mind for we was Wells. His Martians sank a huge cannon in the planet's surface to shoot the invasion cylinders to Earth. Could this be the long-abandoned War of the Worlds launching site...;)?

All kidding aside, a remarkable image. Reminds me of the kind of holes insect bore in the rind of fruit. Not that I'm suggesting giant insects. :lol:

Mansie
2007-May-26, 10:34 AM
In image 'A' http://planetary.org/blog/article/00000984 - the hole is almost touching the rim of a crater. Is this crater likely to be deeper than the hole? It seems odd that the subterranean hole hasn't encroached on the crater in any (obvious) way.

Tweefo
2007-May-26, 02:26 PM
Clearly some Dark Matter

Blob
2007-May-26, 04:54 PM
It seems odd that the subterranean hole hasn't encroached on the crater in any (obvious) way.

Hum,
Yes,
very strange.

It could that the hollow lava tube was just missed by the larger impact.

Braungucke
2007-May-26, 08:27 PM
Hiho,

there is a more detailed image available at astronews.com:

http://astronews.com/news/artikel/2007/05/0705-029a.shtml

The image was taken with the HiRISE-Camera. You can see the edge of the hole, but no ground. Looks really amazing to me!

By the way, this is my first post in this forum. I really like universetoday. Thanks for that, Fraser!


Apologies for any mispelling, since english is not my native language.

http://www.smiley-channel.de/grafiken/smiley/flaggen/smiley-channel.de_flaggen010.gif

Doctor Know
2007-May-26, 09:55 PM
The image was taken with the HiRISE-Camera. You can see the edge of the hole, but no ground. Looks really amazing to me!


Amazing indeed. Thanks for posting that. :)

I was wondering if there are any color images of these seemingly bottomless pits. They would look pretty dramatic contrasting with the Martian surface's reds and browns.

DJ Barney
2007-May-26, 11:17 PM
Here's the JPEG 2000 full size image ...

http://hiroc.lpl.arizona.edu/images/PSP/diafotizo.php?ID=PSP_003647_1745

DJ Barney

Ronald Brak
2007-May-27, 12:34 AM
The low gravity on mars should mean it can have some pretty honking big caves. Unfortunately those rovers on mars haven't found any limestone so caves might be mostly limited to old lava tubes.

Braungucke
2007-May-27, 11:05 AM
I'm wondering about some details that are visible on the edge. I marked the image with A, B and C (see attachment).

In A it seems to me, that there is bright material within the hole, separated from the edge by some of this 'darkness'. Same can be seen in C.

The Formation marked with B looks like a landslide to me, but I'm not quite sure.

Dont want to be a new Hoagland :) but I'm really wondering about these formations and would like to put it up for discussion. Are there any geologists here who can explain this?

5510

Fabio Knopf
2007-May-27, 02:22 PM
Hi all,

What i found quite amazing is the different thermal behavior between afternoon and morning.

Is this a strong evidence that Mars still geologically active?


Sorry for any mispelling.
This is my first post here ;)

baryogenesis
2007-May-27, 02:31 PM
I'm assuming the early-morn THEMIS VIS/IR image shown of "Annie" is a brightening of the rim. Can anyone interpret this for us?

TuTone
2007-May-27, 02:56 PM
What an amazing picture. We just need to send a probe down there to explore.

EDG
2007-May-27, 04:21 PM
I'm wondering about some details that are visible on the edge. I marked the image with A, B and C (see attachment).

In A it seems to me, that there is bright material within the hole, separated from the edge by some of this 'darkness'. Same can be seen in C.

The Formation marked with B looks like a landslide to me, but I'm not quite sure.

Dont want to be a new Hoagland :) but I'm really wondering about these formations and would like to put it up for discussion. Are there any geologists here who can explain this?

5510

It looks like it's more like a skylight into a wider cavern below - i.e. it's not a cylindrical hole since you can't see its walls going down. The edges are probably just defined by how the rock has collapsed. Though it is strange how it's very circular... I would have thought it'd be more irregularly-shaped?

I don't think we'd be able to see what's in the hole unless the orbiter could somehow be angled so that it flew overhead while the sun was at the right angle. But that would require changing its orbit.

Braungucke
2007-May-27, 04:43 PM
Though it is strange how it's very circular... I would have thought it'd be more irregularly-shaped?

Maybe a meteoroite smashed into the surface? Like a bullet hole in a glass pane. Some of the other holes are not that circular. See http://planetary.org/blog/article/00000984 image number D.

Noclevername
2007-May-27, 08:34 PM
Aren't there some circular cave-in holes here on Earth? Tops of volcanic gas bubbles that collapse, that kind of thing?

Fabio Knopf
2007-May-28, 05:20 PM
Aren't there some circular cave-in holes here on Earth? Tops of volcanic gas bubbles that collapse, that kind of thing?

I could find some lava tubes pics through google, and most of them are some circular. But their entrance arenīt.

If its a skylight (what is likely), should look something like this:
http://www.oregonl5.org/lavatube/images/skylite1.jpg

I donīt think a meteorite could do this holes. I thing the impact explosion (below the hole) would make the ceiling collapse, resulting in a crater.

frankuitaalst
2007-May-28, 06:50 PM
I saved the picture from the planetary society and played a little bit with increasing the brightness and contrast ...
Heres the result : some "details" can be seen . Amazingly the left and right picture seem the show the same "details" . The left one is original , the right one was already corrected before by (the Planetary Society ?) .
It seems there is some reflection at the place were the sun reflects the rim.

Braungucke
2007-May-29, 08:18 AM
It seems there is some reflection at the place were the sun reflects the rim.
Hm, please take into consideration that this can result from the compressed JPG-image. See here (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/hoagland/artifacts.html) for a good article about this problem.

John Mendenhall
2007-May-29, 02:25 PM
It's only fair that geologists should have a chance to wander around mumbling to themselves "What is that?" Certainly astronomers do it enough.

frankuitaalst
2007-May-29, 03:30 PM
I'm aware of this phenonemon . Thanks . But nevertheless I tried to get something out . I don't say this may mean anything , can be noise or a pattern created due to compression.

Nick4
2007-Jun-06, 06:09 AM
its actualy kind of scary in a way...it seems like something could just jump out of it.

It could be a number of things though.
1. it could be a lava tube
2. it could be a crater...let me explane.
Have you ever taken a BB gun and shot it into wet dirt not mud but damp wet dirt? it makes a hole but not any mounds around the side like droping a marble in sand would. or a meteorite hitting the surfice. a meteor could have hit a wet spungy spot in the land and made an odd crater.
3. it could be a thermal vent
4. it could be a colapsed cave top
5. or it could be some kind of alian habitate......i like this one...

John Mendenhall
2007-Jun-06, 02:26 PM
its actualy kind of scary in a way...it seems like something could just jump out of it.

It could be a number of things though.
1. it could be a lava tube
2. it could be a crater...let me explane.
Have you ever taken a BB gun and shot it into wet dirt not mud but damp wet dirt? it makes a hole but not any mounds around the side like droping a marble in sand would. or a meteorite hitting the surfice. a meteor could have hit a wet spungy spot in the land and made an odd crater.
3. it could be a thermal vent
4. it could be a colapsed cave top
5. or it could be some kind of alian habitate......i like this one...

About the size of a football field, and circular - how about a flying saucer hangar?

Sorry, Frazer, I couldn't resist it.

OneHotJupiter
2007-Jun-06, 02:58 PM
It's hard to visualize that 'Thing' from the surface of Mars , it DOES look like a bad photoshop job , but I guess it's real , one of the strangest things I've seen imaged on Mars to date , I hope more attention is focused on this in the future.

fearnow
2007-Jun-15, 07:14 PM
maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see, but...

The whole image is especially striking in how BLACK the centre is, especially in light of the lighting subtleties around the feature and around the rim. If this were radar or IR, i'd assume we were talking about something VERY smooth, like a fluid.

1) I'd be very interested to see if these change in any way on a seasonal timespan.
2) I'm keen to see the features from different light angles.
3) I'm intrigued by the way the 'black' seems to fill spaces around the edge (as highlighted in the marked picture provided above.

perhaps I need to read the paper that was published on this to see if any of these things were addressed....:doh:

Noclevername
2007-Jun-15, 07:29 PM
Maybe it's the scar from a pingo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingo) that sublimated away it's ice?

Fraser
2007-Jun-15, 08:58 PM
That sounds like a really good theory. I wonder what shape a pingo might take in Martian gravity.

I've got some emails in to pingo specialists to see what they think. I'll let you know the outcome. :-)

Noclevername
2007-Jun-16, 12:53 AM
Thanks.

Fraser
2007-Jun-16, 08:15 PM
I posed the question Dr. Chris Burn, a geologist at Carleton University, and an expert on pingos.

Here's what he had to say:


Fraser,

I doubt it. I presume the "pingo" has collapsed. If so, we would expect
to see inside it, unless the collapsed rim had very steep and extensive
walls, which had not been eroded somehow. Pingos need some sorce of
water to freeze and lift them up. Sometimes this comes from relief,
i.e. down a hillslope, and sometimes from the freezing of a drained
lake. I could not make out any such feature on the image.

Chris

Braungucke
2007-Aug-30, 01:09 PM
Here are some news about that dark holes on mars. On scienceticker.info a german news-site about sience in general, this picture has been published, showing the wall of the hole, which is at least 78 meters deeply.

http://www.2-0.scienceticker.info/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/mars-hirise-loch.jpg

The Picture has been taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The article (german) can be found here (http://www.scienceticker.info/2007/08/30/neues-vom-loch-im-mars/).

frankuitaalst
2007-Sep-01, 08:50 AM
Heres an recent picture about this topic
http://uanews.org/node/15715

jumpjack
2008-Jan-30, 02:13 PM
I did a long study around these images.
You find my blog page here:
http://jumpjack.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/indagine-sui-buchi-marziani/

The most recent update is here:
http://lc84.altervista.org/marte/profondita.html

Sorry, only italian language available...

Short summary: considering sun elevation, spacecraft position and shadow size, it results that the hole is at least 252 meters deep (and 160 meters wide), and it probably has a "crust" 52 meters thick (http://lc84.altervista.org/marte/Buchi-marte-3.html)!

http://lc84.altervista.org/marte/immagini/studi/PROF2.GIF (click on SAVE AS)

That's a really HUGE cavern!


First image was released in may 2007, second in august 2007... It's time for a new image now :shifty: ! Any news?!?

I'm really curious..

Noclevername
2008-Jan-30, 08:31 PM
...A cave! That explains it! The "man on Mars" in the pic is Batman! ;)

publiusr
2008-Jun-30, 11:45 PM
Good place for a base. Just house over that hole with an inflatable roof-zeppelin.

Its another home of the rods!
http://www.ghost-story.co.uk/stories/flyingrods.html

They love Karst...

ocpaul20
2009-Feb-24, 11:45 AM
The thing is .....there are 7 of these holes. Called the Seven Sisters of Mars I believe.

If these things are in different places, then there must be some pretty large caverns underground and possibly large enough for life to exist - even martian-sized life.

Maybe this 'hole' is like someone else's Sun. A light source for their underground world.

I think Ray Bradbury forsaw it all in Martian Chronicles. Hope he was wrong about the destruction of Earth.

jumpjack
2009-Feb-24, 12:33 PM
The thing is .....there are 7 of these holes. Called the Seven Sisters of Mars I believe.

If these things are in different places, then there must be some pretty large caverns underground and possibly large enough for life to exist - even martian-sized life.


They're all around Arsia Mons.
I don't know if there is one single big cavity with many openings, or many "lava tubes", each one with its opening, as somebody supposes.



Maybe this 'hole' is like someone else's Sun. A light source for their underground world.

Me too thought about this. Unfortunately no pictures have been taken at the right time to have the sun directly enlightening the bottom of the holes. :sad:

The new interesting feature of Google Earth ("Mars") now allows easy browsing of high resolution images like these: it's really cool!