The Red Planet can truly amaze people of the many mysteries it holds. Recently, a photo of a massive and deep hole on Mars has made scientists puzzled.
According to News.au.com, this depression is discovered by the American space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The multipurpose spacecraft has been studying the Red Planet's surface for more than a decade now.
The huge hole is roughly calculated to be hundreds of feet in diameter, and it is surrounded by frozen carbon dioxide. As a result, it forms like a "Swiss cheese" stretch of land. It is located on the south pole of the planet Mars. At present, it is summer on Mars. Therefore, some distinct features of the hole emerge because of the Sun. As it is, the Sun's position in the sky highlights shadows over the Martian landscape.
As NASA explained, the formation of the "Swiss cheese" terrain pattern is made when there is a quite high and smooth matter that is fragmented into these round-shaped depressions. "The depressions are thought to be caused by sublimation, which is when a material goes directly from a solid to a gas phase. Repeated images are taken of areas like this so the changes in depression size and where they form can be monitored through the seasons."
Naturally, when humans perceive these images, they might just readily think that the huge depression is caused by alien life thriving on the Red Planet. However, scientists suggest that this kind of massive and deep holes is created by either ancient floods, meteorite impacts or collapsing lava tubes.
The depression discovered by MRO's HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera lets NASA to view objects on the Red Planet larger than 1 meter from about 200 to 400 kilometers (124 to 249 miles) above. The spacecraft is in the Martian orbit since March 2006.