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  • MIA020: Martian Cairn

MIA020: Martian Cairn




Mars Report Ref: MIA020

Report date: July-August 2017

Research Status: Open - Possible monument

Description: Martian Cairn?
Approximate size: 1 m

Mission: Opportunity Rover
Location: Meridiani Planum

Found by: N/A

Image date: Sol 2467, March 2011
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Graphics/image editing: M. J. Craig

Image source:


​An interesting object more likely to be vesicular rock than something artificial, but which could warrant closer examination. The objects and the darker soil next to them may actually extend further, if the undulating surface is dipping as it seems it may be doing, though hard to tell in this image.


Three sloping edges inclined at a similar degree, suggest an eroded, pyramidal structure. Its small size make it comparable to some prehistoric rock cairns found in the British Isles and elsewhere on the Earth (MR020.4). A mound of material of similar hue and texture to the object's left, may be the eroded remains of a second structure.


A piece of volcanic rock; vesicular coria or basalt (MIA020.3), with an accumulation of soil built up within a cavity.

MIA020.2 Martian Cairn: from a distance - Sol 2467

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

MIA020.3 Small piece of vesicular volcanic rock on the surface of Mars

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Image source:

MIA020.1 Martian Cairn: Close-up - Sol 2467

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Image source:

MIA020.4 A prehistoric cairn in Waterford, Ireland

Image credit: Martin Mullen

Image source:

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