NASA Shares Image Of Unusual Hole In Mars That’s ‘Good Candidate To Contain Martian Life’
Scientifically speaking, Earth is the only planet that supports life. Theoretically speaking, other planets in the solar system could – again, theoretically – also support life.
While it is still true that we’re the only planet known to have living, breathing things walking around on it, and the possibility of people (or aliens) existing on Pluto or Saturn seems absurd, scientists have now shared evidence that could suggest life on Mars.
NASA shared the image, which showed an ‘unusual’ hole on the surface of Mars, over the weekend, March 1, alongside an explanation by a professional astronomer that pointed towards the hole being a significant discovery.
The hole in question appears to be the entrance to a large underground cavern, which is partly illuminated in the picture and is estimated to be roughly 20 metres deep. According to analysis of the image, scientists believe the opening to be approximately 35 metres wide.
The image was first discovered by chance in 2011, when scientists were taking a broader series of photos of the slopes of Mars’ Pavonis Mons Volcano, using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that continues to orbit around the planet to this day.
NASA shared the image on its Astronomy Picture of the Day site, with scientists Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnel explaining the strange discovery.
The scientists wrote:
Why there is a circular crater surrounding this hole remains a topic of speculation, as is the full extent of the underlying cavern.
Holes such as this are of particular interest because their interior caves are relatively protected from the harsh surface of Mars, making them relatively good candidates to contain Martian life.
These pits are therefore prime targets for possible future spacecraft, robots, and even human interplanetary explorers.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has studied the Red Planet’s atmosphere and terrain from orbit since 2006, and continues to do so.
So what do you guys reckon? Is it a sign of alien life, or just a weird-looking hole in the planet’s surface?
I’ll let you lot decide.
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CreditsAstronomy Picture of the Day
Astronomy Picture of the Day