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LROC view, NAC M114328462R, of a skylight in the Marius Hills from NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.


Skylights are collapses that occur over subsurface voids. They have been known for 30-40 years to occur in uncollapsed sections of rilles. The previously known pits are typically a few kilometers across. Smaller ones have recently been detected by Kaguya and LRO, leading to renewed interest. Skylights occur in many terrestrial lava tubes, providing access, although sometimes requiring shimming down a rope. If the skylight roof is too thin, their edges may collapse, making them dangerous places to stand. This site will provide information on small (and even large) skylights as they become known.

Description Wikipedia

Lunar lava tube

Marius Hills Skylight, aka the Haruyama pit

  • Discovered on Kaguya images (below) by Junichi Haruyama, and then seen in more detail with LRO (above).
  • Kaguya-Selene view below of Marius Hills skylight (click image to go to Kaguya page).
    • kaguya-mariussmall.jpg
  • The Marius Hills Skylight is noticeable on Lunar Orbiter 5's medium resolution (med) photographs LOV-211-med, LOV-212-med, LOV-213-med, LOV-214-med, LOV-215-med, and LOV-216-med, although one should have very good eyes to detect the "pit" on the online Hi-Res scans of these photographs!
    • Is it possible to create a three-dimensional stereo view of this skylight while looking at extreme close ups of LOV-211-med and LOV-215-med? (warning: LOV-216-med shows too much blur, and can't be used).
    • If Lunar-Orbiter 5's Hi-Res close up photograph LOV-214-h3was made several kilometers more westward, it would have captured the skylight described above. Unfortunately, it (the location of the skylight) is "off screen" beyond the photograph's upper margin, which shows only the eastern part of the "elbow" in the skylight's rille.
      • Research Lunar-Orbiter 5 photography: Danny Caes
  • Image of the Marius Hills skylight with sunlight shining on the floor, reported by James Fincannon in LROC frame M122584310LE.

Mare Ingenii Skylight


General view


NAC M128202846LE Mare Ingenii (close-up)

  • Discovered by LRO team.

Mare Tranquillitatis Skylights


NAC M106662246R


NAC M126710873R


NAC M124382509L



  • Discovered by LRO team.
  • The first one of the three depicted skylights in Mare Tranquillitatis (the image at left) is located about two degrees east-southeast of crater Sinas (northeast of Sinas A, about halfway between Sinas A and Sinas G). The second image is a close-up view of the first image. It should be mentioned that the brightest ones of the small ray-craterlets which are captured in the LRO's vertical swath (containing the skylight at left) are also noticeable as tiny white specks on page 122 of B.Bussey's and P.Spudis's Clementine Atlas of the Moon (LAC 61).- DannyCaes Jul 17, 2010
  • The Sinas Skylight (unofficially named by Danny Caes) is also detectable on close-ups of several of Apollo 15's orbital mapping/metric Fairchild-camera photographs which were made in july 1971.- DannyCaes Jul 18, 2010


The unofficially-named "Sinas Skylight" as discovered in Apollo 15 image No. AS15-M-2278 by Danny Caes

Left: LAC 61, Middle two: AS15-M-2278, Right: LROC.

LROC Articles

Marius Hills Pit - Lava Tube Skylight?
Depths of Mare Ingenii
How Common are Mare Pit Craters
New Views of Lunar Pits
Natural Bridge on the Moon!
Sublunarean Void!
Impact Melt Pit
Copernicus Collapse
Mare Pit Topography! (Skylight in central Mare Fecunditatis, immediately east of Messier B).
Louville D

LPOD Articles

Trail of Skylights

APOD Articles

  • Skylights on the Moon:

Marius Hills and a Hole in the Moon

  • Skylights on Mars:

A Hole in Mars (a Martian black hole!).
A Hole in Mars, close up (a true Martian Skylight).
A Hole in Mars (located at the centre of a bowl-shaped crater).


Lee, P. (2018) Possible Lava Tube Skylights Discovered Near The North Pole of the Moon - SETI Institute and Mars Institute on 11 January 2018.


Hollow Moon