We might think that NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has seen all there is to see on the Martian surface in the 11 years that our closest neighbour has orbited, but a snapshot taken on the South Pole of the planet has revealed Something we cannot explain.(strange and deep hole in Mars).
While the entire surface of the planet is covered with several depressions and craters, a vast pit located between the so-called “Swiss Cheese Land”, which is a product of the melting of frozen carbon dioxide, appears to be a little deeper than its average hole, To astronomers with the uncertainty of what might have caused that.
Many things can make holes in the rocky terrain of Mars: more than half a million meteorite impacts have left craters; Collapsing lava tubes have created deep wells; The ancient floods have plucked giant gulfs; And volcanic activity has melted the ice to leave large funnels
Occasionally, the MRO encountered a strange feature that raises a fun mystery to solve, such as this superficial and circular depression seen earlier this year.
But there is nothing so shallow about this newly discovered hole. Just take a look (strange and deep hole in Mars).
Being summer at the South Pole of Mars, the Sun is low enough in the sky to accentuate shadows over the landscape, causing subtle features to be shown to the right. However, a flash of light is still able to reveal ice at the bottom of the hole.
Around the pit are patches of frozen carbon dioxide. Circles on ice are thought to have occurred due to the dry ice that has been sublimated in the gas due to the summer sun, leaving what astronomers call the ” Swiss Cheese Land “.
The image was taken using the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, which allows researchers to see objects on Mars that are larger than one meter (about 3 feet) in size from approximately 200 to 400 kilometres 250 miles) above.
That means the hole is not small – at 50 centimetres (19.7 inches) per pixel, we are seeing a feature hundreds of meters in diameter. Check out the NASA website for a high resolution version of the image.
So the question is, did something pierce the surface, or is it a collapse of some kind?
Without further information, it is difficult to say anything, but NASA will certainly be discussing all the possibilities, and not tell us anything about it as usual…
The MRO has been in the Martian orbit since March 2006, sending detailed images of the surface of the Red Planet that reveal a dynamic environment where dust devils roam, sand dunes and occasional pieces of technology coming from Earth.
After completing all its main objectives in the first two years, and two extensions of its mission, the orbiter is still going on – we will almost certainly see stranger holes like this in the future.
Mars is still showing us its little secrets, from glass tubes to floating spheres and strange rock formations which look artificial. Could this giant hole be the entrance to an underground base? Quite possibly, but don’t count on NASA to tell you the truth!