Are you a bear? A wolf? “apprentice?” The internet has mixed opinions about images released by NASA that show what looks like a bear’s face on Mars.
The image was captured on December 12 by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting Mars for about 17 years and sending back high-resolution images. It is maintained by the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.
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When HiRISE shared a photo of a bear on Twitter, the internet had its own idea of what a bear should look like. Some have said it is more like “Doge,” a cryptocurrency that has been turned into a popular internet meme. Others have argued that it is the face of an owl.
Researchers say it’s actually a hill with a V-shaped collapsing structure (nose), two craters for the eyes, and a “circular fracture pattern” that makes up the head.
“The circular fracture pattern may be due to sediment deposition over the buried impact crater,” said the HiRISE researchers.
“Maybe I can just laugh and bear it,” they joked.
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According to HiRISE, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter camera “operates at the same visible wavelengths as the human eye, but uses a telephoto lens that produces images at resolutions previously unseen on planetary exploration missions.”
According to HiRISE, “These high-resolution images allow scientists to distinguish objects on Mars that are one meter tall (about 3 feet tall) and study their morphology (surface structure) in a much more comprehensive way than before.” Website.