Science & Tech

Scientists spot what appears to be a 'giant bear' on Mars

Scientists spot what appears to be a 'giant bear' on Mars
NASA's Future Crewed Mission to Mars Depends on Developing Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

Nasa scientists have spotted an image on Mars, which they described as looking like a grizzly bear.

The image, taken in December, was captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from a height of 251 km.

The spacecraft used its HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera; the most powerful ever sent to another planet.

The space agency explained: "A Bear on Mars? This feature looks a bit like a bear’s face. What is it really?

"There’s a hill with a V-shaped collapse structure (the nose), two craters (the eyes), and a circular fracture pattern (the head).

"The circular fracture pattern might be due to the settling of a deposit over a buried impact crater.

"Maybe the nose is a volcanic or mud vent and the deposit could be lava or mudflows?"

"Maybe just grin and bear it," they added.

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Nasa's HiRISE camera takes photos of "vast areas of Martian terrain while being able to see features as small as a kitchen table."

It has photographed hundreds of images of Mars' surface in unprecedented detail.

"The camera operates in visible wavelengths, the same as human eyes, but with a telescopic lens that produces images at resolutions never before seen in planetary exploration missions," Nasa wrote on their site.


"These high-resolution images enable scientists to distinguish 1-meter-size (about 3-foot-size) objects on Mars and to study the morphology (surface structure) in a much more comprehensive manner than ever before."

They added: "These new, high-resolution images are providing unprecedented views of layered materials, gullies, channels, and other science targets, in addition to characterising possible future landing sites."

Credit: SWNS.

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