It was time to move on from the story of "man on the moon" when a picture of an odd feature on the surface of Mars appeared. A rock formation on the surface of the Red Planet creates a strange shape that strikingly resembles the face of a bear.
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (HiRISE) on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified a brand-new crater on Mars that resembles a bear's face. This occurs as a result of facial pareidolia, which is the tendency or delusion in which people perceive facial structures in inanimate objects.
HiPOD: A Bear on Mars?— HiRISE: Beautiful Mars (NASA) (@HiRISE) January 25, 2023
This feature looks a bit like a bear's face. What is it really?
According to the University of Arizona release, "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 mud flows? Maybe just grin and bear it," said HiRISE principal investigator Alfred McEwen.
Meanwhile, the American space agency NASA is planning a faster way of travelling to Mars, one that could take astronauts from Earth to the Red Planet in just 45 days. In a blog post, NASA gave details about a nuclear propulsion concept that will make this possible.
The Nuclear Thermal and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NTP/NEP) concept is a new class of bimodal nuclear propulsion system that uses a "wave rotor topping cycle," as per a NASA blog post. It added that NTP/NEP will revolutionise the deep space exploration of our solar system.