NASA has recently shared a picture of Mars that reveals an “unusual” hole on its surface that they suspect could be an opening to an underground cavern. The image of the dusty slopes of Mars' Pavonis Mons volcano was first taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2011, confirmed NASA.
According to NASA’s Share The Science blog, the mysterious hole goes around 20 meters deep. The research to the circular crater that surrounded the hole is still ongoing. The finding will help scientists to carry out a further study about the existence of Martian life. NASA wrote on its science blog, “the interior shadow angle indicates that the underlying cavern is roughly 20 meters deep”.
It further said, “Why there is a circular crater surrounding this hole remains a topic of speculation, as is the full extent of the underlying cavern”. NASA then goes on to say, “Holes such as this are of particular interest because their interior caves are relatively protected from the harsh surface of Mars, making them relatively good candidates to contain Martian life”.
NASA emphasized that the pit discovered is significant for the scientists because it will be a prime target for possible future spacecraft, robots, and even human interplanetary explorers. It said that the explorers could examine the materials found in the caverns. This would be ground-breaking research as the cavern could include material left from previous epochs. It may also prove useful for looking back into Mars' past, it added.
How’s this for 2020 vision? Over the holidays, I took a series of high-res photos of my hometown on #Mars. This panorama is made up of a crisp 1.8 billion pixels. It’s my most detailed view to date.— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) March 4, 2020
Zoom in: https://t.co/F2VAjvAVVV pic.twitter.com/nTMhOTx2Di
NASA scientists had earlier claimed that there was a possibility of life in the underground caves on Mars made possible due to some form of water supply on the red planet. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist Vlada Stamenković explained the Martian underground life theory at a space event. Speaking at Mars Extant Life Conference, Stamenković had claimed that the surface of Mars was very oxidizing, cold and dry. He added that a rover that could detect the subterranean groundwater and other chemical substance must be sent on Mars that could reveal signs of life to scientists on Earth.