In March 2020 NASA gave us a fascinating insight into the surface of Mars. That’s because they shared an image of a peculiar hole cutting into the Red Planet. The picture in question was taken back in 2011 – and what it showed led experts to wonder if there really could be life on Mars.
The curious hole had opened up a world of possibilities for those who study Mars. However, it had actually been discovered quite by accident when it was snapped by the HiRISE instrument which goes around the planet aboard the unmanned Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Though unexpected, the find led to years of research.
As a result, experts have determined that the hole in question is around 115 feet wide and 65 feet deep. And that got researchers thinking that the cavern could be a very special place in the otherwise hostile environment on Mars. In particular, they wondered if the crater could prove the existence of Martians.
The possibility of life on Mars has been the subject of fascination for many years. Martians have appeared in literature, comic books, television and films for a number of decades, capturing the imagination of sci-fi lovers. And there is actually some evidence to suggest that there was once life on the Red Planet.
But before we get to that, let’s take a look at Mars more broadly. Named after the Roman deity associated with war, the planet is among the smallest in our Solar System, second only to Mercury. Known as the “Red Planet” due to its coloring, Mars has a lean atmosphere and desert-like outer layer.