A NASA spacecraft has apparently found seven cave entrances on the surface of Mars. triggering interest in hunting for other caverns that might be hiding life on the Red Planet.
While the caves discovered may be too high in altitude to host life, scientists say caverns elsewhere on the Red Planet could be underground habitats, or even one day become shelters for astronauts.
Images from the Mars Odyssey orbiter showed seven dark, nearly circular spots between 100 metres and 250m wide on the slopes of the Arsia Mons volcano, located near the planet’s highest peak.
Researchers concluded that the seven circles could be windows to underground spaces after checking their day-time and night-time temperatures by using Odyssey’s infrared camera. “They are cooler than the surrounding surface in the day and warmer at night,” said Glen Cushing of the US Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Team at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.
But the discovery of the holes, dubbed ‘Seven Sisters’, has triggered interest in hunting for caverns elsewhere on Barsoom, NASA said.”Somewhere on the red planet, caves might provide a protected niche for past or current life, or shelter for humans in the future and, just maybe, John Carter could be waiting for a rescue craft.”