Cities could fit inside Mars' lava tubes – bigger than Empire State building

Scientists have argued that Mars could see cities fit inside its enormous lava tubes for future human bases, according to new research.

The Red Planet is the second-smallest in the Solar System and has a thin atmosphere.

However, it is pocketed with absolutely massive lava tubes.

The planet features ceilings as high as the Empire State Building, the new research shows, according to Live Science.

It also shows that the Moon hosts even more gargantuan tubes, with heights that dwarf Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and “skylights” as big as football fields.

The subterranean caverns are protected from punishing solar radiation due to being shielded.

It also features lava tubes, which are a tunnel under a world’s surface, formed by an intense flow of molten rock during a volcanic explosion.

On Earth, they’re most easily spotted when they collapse, forming long furrows in the dirt. Partial collapses sometimes form chains of “skylights” that reveal hidden lava tubes that are mostly intact.

In new research, researchers have speculated that lava tubes might have existed on Mars and the Moon since the 1960s, but in recent years Martian and lunar orbiters have beamed home images showing how common these formations likely are.

Cities could fit inside Mars' lava tubes – bigger than Empire State building

Now, researchers have argued it’s time to explore them in a new paper published July 20 in the journal Earth-Science Reviews.

Riccardo Pozzobon, a geoscientist at the University of Padova, Italy, said: “The largest lava tubes on Earth are maximum [about] 40 meters [130 feet] of width and height.

“So like a very large motorway tunnel.”

It would certainly be big enough to fit some people in.

Pozzobon told Live Science that a small city could easily fit in there.

It comes after new NASA data reveals there is a huge salty lake beneath the surface of Ceres and scientists believe that it could be warm enough to contain some sort of lifeforms.

Images from NASA ‘s Dawn spacecraft revealed the existence of the bruny reservoir beneath a 20 million year old impact crater known as Occator. And there in speculation that the 600-mile wide mini-world could be home to some sort of life.

Dr Carol Raymond, deputy principal investigator of the mission, said: “It suggests Ceres is an ocean world and may have been geologically active in the recent past.”

Dawn made its way there after leaving the asteroid Vesta in 2012. It orbited Ceres from 2015 to 2018 – before running out of fuel.