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Image of the Day: Mar's Mystery -Black Holes, Portals to an Underground World?

Black_Hole_ASU In this HiRISE captured an image of a black spot mars the flank of Arsia Mons that is most likely a portal innto a subterranean cavern. Their identifications were based upon Mars Odyssey THEMIS images, which achieve resolutions of a little better than 20 meters per pixel; having spotted the caves, they requested that the sharper-eyed HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter target the spots for more detailed imaging. The image above is the first one of these, and it shows the cave entrance called Jeanne.

There is absolutely nothing visible inside that hole. HiRISE is a very sensitive instrument, but it seems that the cave is so big and so deep that almost none of the light that enters the cave comes out. It's deep, and it's big; the hole that we see really is just a skylight on a big subterranean room. We'll never know for sure how big or deep the hole is without a manned mission visiting it, but the HiRISE team will calculate the sensitivity of the camera to put a lower limit on how deep that cave must be for HiRISE to be able to see nothing at all inside it.

Image credit: Credit: NASA / JPL / U. Arizona.


COOL!! Maybe there's something inside...

COOL!! Maybe there's something inside...

COOL!! Maybe there's something inside...

The silver surfer has been their

The silver surfer has been their

The Post button gives no indigation that it has done anyting after you click it, I suppose thats why the comments are repeating.

Theres a hole in my Mars dear Nasa
then fix it dear aliens.

We won't need a manned mission to explore that cavern; a robotic mission should do the trick just fine, and will be a good deal less expensive. We should wait on manned missions until robots have laid sufficient groundwork.

Once that's done, though, I can definitely get behind efforts to mine, terraform, and colonize the planet.

@John Doe & thunderza: After hitting post, I generally see my post show up just below the banner ad after the last comment. If in doubt, though, you can copy what you've written to your clipboard (highlight it and hit Ctrl-V) and Refresh the page.

(Oh, and someone *please* wipe that apostrophe from the headline. Mars is a planet; Mar's is that which belongs to Mar.)

maybe it's a hole from mass accelerator weapon ( Mass Effect reference ) :D

A lot of these "caves" are just pit- or collapse-craters, and drastic brightening of some of the images has revealed a bottom of rubble and fallen material. But some are too deep to see the bottom, so who knows what's down there! They may open up into caverns, or long open lava tubes...or just be a really deep pit. For the light to not get down there they'd have to be at least 75-100 feet deep. If we find caves on Mars – and why wouldn't there be caves? – they may be the most logical places for future human exploration bases. If they were stable and easy to get in and out of, of course!

The first sentence in this article was completely horrible. Does no one proofread before posting?

Casey didn't write this one, I think. He copied and pasted from another site. He couldn't really correct the grammar w/o changing the 'content' of the article. That's my theory at least. There's some bad grammar on here, but never anything like that

whats the diameter ?

Possibly it holds the answer to what happened to Mars´ gravity, atmosphere and water. A way to avoid the same happening to Earth...

Am offering direly needed editing services to The Galaxy...

Simon says in earnest.

Large black hole or pool of bio-carbons, like oil? Black tar?

Possibly it holds the answer to what happened to Mars´ gravity,
I don't think you're likely to get much backing for any claim that Mars' gravity has changed in any dramatic manner. Sure, the planet gains and loses a little mass now and then depending on details of meteor etc impacts and gas boil-off but I suspect that doesn't add up to much of a percentage.


It is an iris!

oooh, I like the iris idea...

It is something that makes little boys ask questions.

yes, do listen to simon says...

Good post,This was exactly what I needed to read today! I am sure this has relevance to many of us out there.

I took the image and equalized it in photoshop and it clearly shows details of the bottom.

Still analyzing the sensitivity of the camera would be useful, but some of the light is clearly reflecting off the bottom of the image.

very large sinkhole

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