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Students discover cave on Red Planet

Last Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 14:23

Washington: A group of 16 seventh-grade students have found a cave on Mars using the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera aboard NASA`s Mars Odyssey orbiter.

The schoolgoers were using the THEMIS to find lava tubes on the Red Plant when they came across a small black feature straddling one of the tubes.

The feature, identified as a cave or "skylight", near the Pavonis Mons volcano was a hole, punched in the top of a hollow tube.

The students, from Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, California, were participating in the Mars Student Imaging Program (MSIP), a part of Arizona State University`s Mars Education Program.

"This pit is certainly new to us," Discovery News quoted Glen Cushing, a US Geological Survey scientist, as saying.

He added: "And it is only the second one known to be associated with Pavonis Mons."

Cushing believes the new skylight is around 190×160 meters wide and at least 115 meters deep.


First Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 14:23

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