Space & Astronomy
Martian caves could act as radiation shelters
By T.K. Randall
August 31, 2021 · 8 comments
One of many cave entrances found on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA / JPL / U. Arizona
Caves dotted around the surface of the Red Planet could provide a safe haven for future human explorers.
While satellites and rovers have explored much of the surface of Mars, there are some places that we have yet to even get a glimpse of, such as the subterranean world of the Red Planet's cave system.
Dotted around the surface, these mysterious cave openings remain totally unexplored and could provide access to a whole network of tunnels and chambers.
These caves have another potential benefit too - they could act as shelter for future astronauts.
Mars has very little atmosphere and no magnetic field, meaning that its surface is being constantly bombarded by harmful solar radiation that would make living there without protection impossible.
Now according to a new study by scientist Daniel Viudez-Moreiras at Spain's National Institute for Aerospace Technology, the radiation levels inside the caves on Mars are likely to be a mere fraction of those found on the surface, making them an ideal place for future settlers to seek shelter.
In addition, the caves on Mars could be an ideal place to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life, especially given that anything down there would be sheltered from the conditions on the surface.
Who knows, perhaps there's even something alive down there right now.
Source: New Scientist
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