The huge hole on the surface of Mars was first seen on the western slope of a volcano called Pavonis Mons in 2011 in the Mars HiRise mission. The interesting structure of the hole attracted the attention of scientists and a study was carried out on the hole.
According to scientists, when Mars was volcanically active, this hole was filled with lava to the brim. However, after the volcanic activities ended and the surface solidified, the thin solid surface on top collapsed into the spaces formed by the lava that returned to the magma of Mars, and this gigantic hole appeared.
Analyzes of the huge hole revealed that its span was 35 meters. The depth of the hole is estimated to be 28 meters up to the top of the rubble accumulated in it. Calculations show that the collapsed pile of rubble was 62 meters high and 90 meters high before collapsing. These dimensions are much more than the dimensions of lava tube caves on Earth.
NASA thinks lava tube caves like this are important. Lava tube caves can provide protection against radiation that Mars is exposed to. This shows that lava tubes are ideal places to build underground living spaces. On the other hand, lava tubes can be the best places to search for life on Mars.
In NASA’s blog post about the huge hole, “Holes like this are interesting. Because the inner caves are relatively protected from the harsh surface climate of Mars. This makes them good candidates for life on Mars. ÔÇŁ Therefore, one of the main targets of the future Mars mission will be these caves.
Although it is one of the important targets for the search for life on Mars, the huge hole is also seen as part of an important mystery. The lava tube skylights on Earth are so high and not so wide. Scientists are trying to understand how and why this skylight on Mars has become a conical crater.
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