Caves on the Moon and Mars

As Robert Zimmerman’s cover story of the April 2013 issue explains, Earth is not the only world in the inner solar system with caves. The same volcanic processes that created some of Earth’s caves also occurred on the Moon and Mars. Using imagery from a variety of orbiters, geologists have spotted a number of openings on these other worlds that don’t have the classic features of impact craters. Some, most, or all of these features are likely to have underground passages that would offer substantial protection and stable temperatures for future human explorers and colonists.

We show below additional photos of possible caves on the Moon and Mars that couldn't fit in the article.

Caves on the Moon

Pit in Mare Ingenii
NASA / GSFC / LROC Science Operations Center of Arizona State Univ.
Lunar Orbiter image
Lunar orbiter close-up
Caves on Mars
Tharsis Pit
Dark hole on Arsia Mons
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Arizona
Skylight on Mars
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Arizona
Skylight on Pavonis Mons
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Arizona
Arsia volcanoes
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Arizona
All comments must follow the Sky & Telescope Terms of Use and will be moderated prior to posting. Please be civil in your comments. Sky & Telescope reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s username, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.