THEMIS observes possible cave skylights on Mars

G. E. Cushing, T. N. Titus, J. J. Wynne, Philip Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Seven possible skylight entrances into Martian caves were observed on and around the flanks of Arsia Mons by the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). Distinct from impact craters, collapse pits or any other surface feature on Mars, these candidates appear to be deep dark holes at visible wavelengths while infrared observations show their thermal behaviors to be consistent with subsurface materials. Diameters range from 100 m to 225 m, and derived minimum depths range between 68 m and 130 m. Most candidates seem directly related to pitcraters, and may have formed in a similar manner with overhanging ceilings that remain intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL17201
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 16 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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