July 19, 2012 21:08
NASA probe photographed the mysterious object, the nature of which scientists have not yet been able to establish
Attention of experts who analyze the pictures sent from Mars orbit automatic station Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), caught something very strange. In the picture of low resolution, the camera of CTX, was evident object is correct geometrical form. He was in the vicinity of a volcano Pavonis, located near the equator of Mars. Looked very awkward in the middle of the snowy expanses of neighboring planet — a kind of foreign body. And from the heights like an artificial structure — the sun shining glass dome.
"Dome", "photographed again, using the already high definition camera — HiRISE. Magnified it, of course, no longer look like alien creatures hands. But not ceased to amaze.
The scientists found that "dome", in fact reversed. And was a huge crater with a completely smooth edges. In the bottom of the gaping hole. Of the object is like either a giant toilet bowl, or on the sink. (Original image by NASA can be found here.)
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 scale of the object.
— We estimate that the diameter of the hole at the bottom of the crater 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 on the top edge — about 200 meters.
There is still a hole
"Sink-toilet" on Mars has not yet been seen. But the holes across. They were first seen in images taken in 2007. Then could see right away 7 pieces.
One of the holes, also located on the vast plateau, but in Arsia Mons, scientists have tried to explore — remotely, of course — with the utmost care. Photographed several times from different angles and under different lighting conditions. But make out, in the end, only the wall of the hole. A bottom and have not seen. Diameter, however, identified — about 100 meters.
It seems that the experts believe that the holes have done in some crust. And it, in turn, formed the lava. "Lava tube" — subsurface movement of lava channels — found on Earth. A flow of molten rock, which solidifies on top. The main volume of lava which continues to move and leaves an empty space. A kind of tunnel.
How were just holes, 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 crater marks, indicating that the snow continues to slide into the hole. Why — is unclear.
Scientists admit that they can not yet explain the nature of the "sink-toilet."
Some researchers do not rule out that under the surface of Mars are branched cave — a sort of catacombs, in which water can exist in liquid form, and even life. According to 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 hole. That provides hope for their "cave" origin holes.
By the way, the caves and catacombs seriously consider the future colonists, as the ideal location for the Martian bases.