'Cave entrances' spotted on Mars

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'Cave entrances' spotted on Mars

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 17, 2007 1:08 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6461201.stm

Scientists studying pictures from Nasa's Odyssey spacecraft have spotted what they think may be seven caves on the surface of Mars. The candidate caves are on the flanks of the Arsia Mons volcano and are of sufficient depth their floors mostly cannot be seen through the opening.
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Re: 'Cave entrances' spotted on Mars

Postby Martin Sluka » Mar 17, 2007 5:35 am

Squirrel Girl wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6461201.stm

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Here is PDF of the original article with pictures.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2007/pdf/1371.pdf

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Postby MUD » Mar 17, 2007 8:47 am

...y'all know that's where the Martians are, huh? :kewl:
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Postby GypsumWolf » Mar 17, 2007 10:56 am

Cavemud wrote:...y'all know that's where the Martians are, huh? :kewl:


I wounder how we go about joining the Martian Grotto?
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Postby Dane » Mar 17, 2007 4:33 pm

"...may indicate an abundance of subsurface void spaces."
Sounds like TAG!!!!
Did you notice that their resolution is limited to 100m?
A 300' wide pit!
There is no telling what kind of smaller entrances may exist!
Virgin passage - this way boys!!!!

(btw, there is another link under "Caves in the News")
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caves on Mars

Postby Dave Bunnell » Mar 19, 2007 11:47 pm

If you check the units in the article, they have pits up to 252m wide, which is like, 827 feet! And a depth of 130m, or 426 feet. This far surpasses anything known in the way of a lava tube skylight on Earth. I think the largest puka known from Hawaii is maybe a couple hundred feet across, at best. Some of the big pit craters, which aren't skylights, can certainly attain these sizes. But the thermal data reported for pit "annie" suggests that these are more likely skylights connected to cave systems than pit craters, so all the more intriguing with their size.
This is sheer speculation, but it seems reasonable to me that a place with lower gravity might be able to sustain broader passage widths than our terrestrial caves, before collapsing under their own weight.

Clearly they will need a team of competent cavers on future manned expeditions. Could you see doing vertical work in a bulky space suit? And looks like a job for Willie Hunt's super flashes to photograph them...

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Postby hewhocaves » Mar 20, 2007 9:56 am

Mars' gravity is .38 of earth's. We can just jump a lot of those nusiance drops :-)
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