FP Trending17 Aug 2020 17:34:46 IST
Earth is home to several lava tubes or long volcanic caves that can be defined as “channels of lava rivers that at a somewhat earlier time downslope flowed from a volcanic vent than fissure “.
Interestingly, the surface of Mars and Moon also has some of these lava tubes. The big difference between them and that of our planet is their large size compared to the terrestrial tubes. According to a new study published in the international journal Earth science reviews, the lava tubes on Mars and the moon are 100 and 1,000 times wider, respectively, than those on Earth.
Researchers at the universities of Bologna and Padua are studying the Martian and temperate tubes with high resolution photos and compares them with the lava tubes present in Hawaii, Canary Islands, Australia and Iceland.
They also analyzed the subterranean cavities that created the lava underground on Mars and the moon. They found that these cavities could act as shields against cosmic or solar radiation.
“We can find lava tubes on planet Earth, but also on the surface of the moon and Mars according to the high-resolution images of the skylights of lava tubes made by interplanetary probes,” said Francesco Sauro, a game scientist and head of the ESA programs CAVES and PANGEA, which is associated with the University of Bologna. He further said in the news release that “evidence of lava tubes was often obtained by observing linear cavities and sinuous column chains where the galleries cracked”.
These collage chains, he concluded, represented “ideal gates as windows for exploration of the underground.”
Riccardo Pozzobon, a planetary geologist at the University of Padua, said the study shows that the moon could serve as a target for underground research and potential settlement because of the “protected and stable environment of lava tubes”. According to the researcher, these would be sufficient for a large number of people due to its large size.
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