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View Full Version : More Martian Cave Entrances Discovered



Fraser
2007-Sep-21, 05:54 PM
More Mars news... NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has turned up what look like the entrances to caves along the slope of a Martian volcano. If these turn out to be actual tunnels or caves, they could be a scientific goldmine, offering future explorers protection and a unique region to study - perhaps even life could be hiding away from hostile Martian surface environment. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/09/21/more-martian-cave-entrances-discovered/)

TuTone
2007-Sep-23, 05:58 AM
That's not a cave...it's a shadow.

BigDon
2007-Sep-23, 07:42 AM
No, the blown up picture shows it might be a cave entrance. Can't see any bottom like in the two nearby craters.

chrisswebb
2007-Sep-23, 11:27 AM
yes, its right. but difficult to see what is this.

01101001
2007-Sep-23, 03:17 PM
Pygmee (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showuser=2904) from Unmanned Spaceflight forum has on the Marscope blog (http://marscope.blogspot.com/) some alternate images of some of these "caves" that show them to be less cavelike and more pitlike -- like the official conclusion to the caves/pits imaged months ago (http://www.bautforum.com/universe-today-story-comments/59357-dark-caverns-discovered-mars.html).

Caves look like pits: Marscope blog 16/09/07: Dommage pour les grottes de Mars... (http://marscope.blogspot.com/2007/09/dommage-pour-les-grottes-de-mars.html) (French language)

New caves/pits spotted: Marscope blog 23/09/07: Les 20 nouvelles (http://marscope.blogspot.com/2007/09/les-20-nouvelles-young-20.html) (French language)

BigDon
2007-Sep-23, 10:53 PM
105, isn't a pit just a cave with the entrance pointing up?

01101001
2007-Sep-24, 12:19 AM
105, isn't a pit just a cave with the entrance pointing up?

Here's the USGS photo glossary exemplar of a pit crater (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Products/Pglossary/PitCrater.html):

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Imgs/Jpg/Photoglossary/PitCrater2_med.JPG (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Products/Pglossary/PitCrater.html)

A cave is probably more loosely defined, but that doesn't look very cave-like to me. If that's what the voids on Mars are, I understand why articles are saying: "Recall those caves? Turns out they're pits."

Wikipedia: Cave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave)


A cave is a natural underground void large enough for a human to enter. Some people suggest that the term 'cave' should only apply to cavities that have some part which does not receive daylight; however, in popular usage, the term includes smaller spaces like sea caves, rock shelters and grottos.

My own definition is toward caves that have qualities of a chamber, a room with an entranceway smaller in area than a cross section of the room. The first images of the Martian black holes, made me think of Earth's Cave of Swallows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_Swallows), a deep, wide, hole, with rock ledges overhanging the chamber, a chamber much larger than its skylight. That's the sort of cave-like thing I hoped for.

When I spy a conical, even cylindrical, pit, the first word I think of is not cave; I think hole or... pit.

But if it floats your boat, sure, they're vertical caves -- that look more like pits.