Are “they” listening? NASA has captured a photo of what appears to be a massive, ear-shaped crater on Mars. The space agency revealed an intriguing image captured Friday by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spaceship.
The onboard High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRise) camera documented a familiar-shape on a 291 km-high pass over the Red Planet on September 7, 2020.
“Is it pareidolia, where we see features like faces and patterns where they do not really exist, if the shape really does resemble something?” a NASA spokesperson commented. “In this case, we’re looking at an odd-shaped impact crater that looks a great deal like an ear. And once you see it, it’s almost impossible to un-see. The crater is just over 1,800 meters across. This scene is located in Chryse Planitia in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars.”
The Chryse Planitia plain in the northern equatorial region of Mars shows evidence of water erosion in the past, and is the bottom end for many outflow channels from the southern highlands.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting and studying Mars since 2006. It is designed to study the geology and climate of the planet, provide reconnaissance of future landing sites, and relay data from surface missions back to Earth.