Volcanic tunnels on Mars could become a safe haven for life


09/04/2012

Volcanic tunnels on Mars could become a safe haven for displaced earth. Mars discovered volcanic tunnels that can become a safe haven for displaced earth

Underground lava flows on Mars formed channels under its surface. These long-extinct volcanoes have left behind an extensive network of tunnels that can serve as a refuge for future settlers.

The characteristic grooves on the surface of Mars, found near volcanoes in the Tharsis region of Province on the Red Planet, indicate that the tunnels and cavities collapsed after stopping the flow of lava.

Scientists believe that the remaining tunnels that are millions of years and which once may flow water, are enticing candidates to search for microscopic life forms on this planet.

The layer of the atmosphere of Mars is so thin that this planet is illuminated by radiation is 250 times stronger than the Earth - so the chances of finding life on the surface is vanishingly small.

Underground passages, protected from the deadly rays can provide shelter for life - especially if there was leaking water.

As shown spacecraft sent to Mars radiation level on the surface is 250 times higher than on the earth, and more than twice that which are astronauts on the International Space Station.

Any cave near these indentations in the future may serve as a refuge from the high level of surface radiation on astronauts.

These tunnels were found in the photographs of the spacecraft of the European Space Agency’s "Mars Express", which is on the low Mars orbit. They are located near some of the largest volcanoes in the solar system.

The depressions are likely to have a volcanic origin. Current lava hardens on the surface, but the inside is still molten lava flow. When volcanic activity stops ducts are emptied, forming an underground cavity. Over time, the portion of these cavities may settle, leaving a rounded hollow on the surface.

On Earth, examples of such structures can serve as karst regions.

Original: Dailymail


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