Attention staff to analyze the pictures sent from Mars orbit automatic station Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), caught something very strange.
At the low-resolution photo taken by the camera CTX, was swept object is a regular geometric shape. He was in the vicinity of the volcano Pavonis, located near the equator of Mars. Looked quite awkward in the middle of the snowy expanses of neighboring planet — a kind of foreign body.
And from the heights like a man-made structure — the sun shining on the glass dome. "Cupola", "photographed again, using a high resolution camera is — HiRISE. Magnified in it, of course, no longer look like alien creature hands. But not ceased to amaze. Scientists saw the" Dome "is actually upside down. And represents a huge funnel with perfectly smooth edges.
At the bottom of the gaping hole. From this object has already sounded like either a giant toilet bowl, or on the sink. The sun's rays fall into the funnel so that flashed her bottom that looked like a flat floor. And it has allowed experts to determine the extent of the object.
This picture has prompted experts to review NASA facility details
"Dome" was a funnel
— We estimate that the diameter of the hole at the bottom of the funnel is about 35 meters — says Shane Byrne (Shane Byrne) from the University of Arizona — are responsible for the operation of the camera HiRISE. — Prior to the "floor" — about 20 meters. The diameter of the funnel to the top edge — about 200 meters. There's still a hole "Shell-toilet" on Mars has not yet been seen. But across the hole. They were first seen in photographs taken in 2007. Then managed to see right away 7 pieces.
The holes are discovered on Mars in 2007
One of the holes, and also located on the vast plateau, but in Arsia Mons, scientists have tried to explore — remotely, of course — with the utmost care. Photographed multiple times at different angles and under different lighting conditions. But make out, in the end, only the wall of the hole. And the bottom and have not seen. Diameter, however, have identified — about 100 meters.
It seems that the experts believe that the holes done in a certain crust. And it, in turn, formed the lava. "Lava tube" — subsurface movement of lava channels — are found on Earth. Produced a stream of molten rock that solidifies on top. The bulk of the lava continues to move at the same time and leaves a blank space. A kind of tunnel.
The hole in the Arsia Mons
Log in Martian caves? Formed as a hole seems to be clear — most likely they struck meteorites. But how did the funnel? The impression is as if something sucked into the snow. Along the edges of the funnel are traces showing that the snow continues to crawl into a hole. Why — is unclear.
Scientists admit that they are not yet able to explain the nature of the "sink-toilet." Some researchers do not rule out that under the surface of Mars are located branched cave — a sort of catacombs in which water can exist in liquid form, and even life. In line with this hypothesis, the holes are the entrances to the Martian Catacombs. Catacomb hypothesis is supported by the fact that not everyone can see the bottom of the holes.
That leaves hope for their "cave" the origin of the hole. By the way, the caves and catacombs seriously expect future colonists as ideal locations for placing the Martian bases.