“A bear on Mars?” Nasa publishes an intriguing photo of the red planet (photo)
Intriguing, the photograph was taken last month by the US space agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite, which orbits the Red Planet with the HiRISE high-resolution on-board camera, the most powerful ever sent by humans in the solar system.
“A bear on Mars? “Asks the Twitter account of the HiRISE project, which published the snapshot on Wednesday.
According to scientists from the University of Arizona, who are leading the project, the animal’s face is actually formed by “two craters”, which form the eyes and a disembowelled “hill” which resembles a snout. These elements are surrounded by a “circular fracture”, which delimits the contours of the head and could be formed by a deposit of lava or mud.
The whole thing gives the impression of seeing the smiling face of a teddy bear. Quite a coincidence, to give a geological formation that stretches over two kilometres.
The HiRISE camera is one of the six instruments on board this NASA satellite, which has been orbiting Mars since 2006. Ultra-precise, it allows very detailed shots to be taken to map the surface of the red planet for future missions carried out by robots or humans.
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