What’s Under This Hole on the Surface of Mars?

The HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image to determine if any underlying voids or associated faults can be observed in this part of Arsia Mons. Pits like this can be caused by recent geologically-recent volcanic or tectonic activity. If there are caves under the pit, they could one day act as shelter for astronauts. The caves could also be targets for future robotic exploration. The pit is only a few meters across. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona

Human visitors to Mars need somewhere to shelter from the radiation, temperature swings, and dust storms that plague the planet. If the planet is anything like Earth or the Moon, it may have large underground lava tubes that could house shelters. Collapsed sections of lava tubes, called skylights, could provide access to these subterranean refuges.

Does this hole on Mars lead to a larger underground cavern?

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