NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano. The find is fueling interest in potential underground habitats and sparking searches for caverns elsewhere on the Red Planet. Very dark, nearly circular features ranging in diameter from about 328 to 820 feet puzzled researchers who found them in images taken by NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters. Using Mars Odyssey's infrared camera to check the daytime and nighttime temperatures of the circles, scientists concluded that they could be windows into underground spaces.Evidence that the holes may be openings to cavernous spaces comes from the temperature differences detected from infrared images taken in the afternoon vs. the pre-dawn morning. From day to night, temperatures of the holes change only about one-third as much as the change in temperature of surrounding ground surface.
"They are cooler than the surrounding surface in the day and warmer at night," said Glen Cushing of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Team and of Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz. "Their thermal behavior is not as steady as large caves on Earth that often maintain a fairly constant temperature, but it is consistent with these being deep holes in the ground."A report of this discovery by Cushing and his co-authors was published online recently by the journal Geophysical Research Letters. "Whether these are just deep vertical shafts or openings into spacious caverns, they are entries to the subsurface of Mars," said co-author Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff. "Somewhere on Mars, caves might provide a protected niche for past or current life, or shelter for humans in the future."
Source 1: Richardlalancette.blogspot.com
Source 2: Unexplained-mysteries.com
Other Source: Marsanomalyresearch.com