LRO has now collected the most detailed images yet of at least two lunar pits, quite literally giant holes in the moon. Scientists believe these holes are actually skylights that form when the ceiling of a subterranean lava tube collapses, possibly due to a meteorite impact punching its way through. One of these skylights, the Marius Hills pit, was observed multiple times by the Japanese SELENE/Kaguya research team. With a diameter of about 213 feet (65 meters) and an estimated depth of 260 to 290 feet (80 to 88 meters) it’s a pit big enough to fit the White House completely inside. The image featured here is the Mare Ingenii pit. This hole is almost twice the size of the one in the Marius Hills and most surprisingly is found in an area with relatively few volcanic features. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University.

Do Pockmarks on the Moon Hold the Key to Our Origins

by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Jan 15, 2013

The cavernous splotches that help give our moon its shape could be much more than a product of celestial aging. According to research conducted by roboticist Red Whittaker at Carnegie Mellon University, they could also serve as firsthand insight into our search for life on Mars.

Spates of lunar skylights are now being discovered with increased clarity thanks to the advancement of photographic technology. Skylights, which are born when the ceiling of lunar cave gives out under its own weight, allow expanded access to subterranean layers of the moon which previously seemed unattainable.

Read more: Do Pockmarks on the Moon Hold the Key to Our Origins — Space Daily.

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