On Mars, an astonishing formation looks like a bear

At Mashable we celebrate bears.

And while there are no bears on Mars — and yet small microbes may have once thrived on the red planet eons ago — we’re going to celebrate a feature of Mars that looks like a bear. Mars is teeming with fascinating craters, so it’s only natural that one of them resembles one of the most enduring, surprising, and downright impressive known creatures in the galaxy.

A NASA satellite orbiting Mars, dubbed the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter(Opens in a new window), has a powerful camera (called the High Resolution Imaging Experiment, or HIRISE) that captures detailed views of the Martian surface. It recently found this bear-like territory.

“This feature looks a bit like a bear’s face,” wrote Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona(Opens in a new window), which powers the HIRISE camera. “What is it really?”


Life beneath the surface of Mars is more plausible than ever, scientists find

He continues:

“There is a mound with a V-shaped collapse structure (the nose), two craters (the eyes), and a circular fracture pattern (the head). The circular fracture pattern could be due to the deposition of a deposit over a buried impact Maybe the nose is a volcanic or mud vent and the deposit could be lava or mudflows?”

Can’t agree more.

A Martian feature that looks like a bear.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Down on Mars, NASA is currently scouring the planet for evidence of past life – if it ever existed. After all, water once thrived on the now dry, frigid, and harsh planet.

Specifically, the space agency’s car-sized Perseverance rover is exploring the parched delta in Mars’ Jezero Crater, a site that planetary scientists believe once housed a lake. “This delta is one of the best places on Mars for the rover to look for signs of past microscopic life,” NASA said(Opens in a new window).

Indeed, planetary scientists may never discover signs of past life on the Red Planet’s surface (they may have to look for microbes that live underground and might well be living), but one thing is certain: on a world millions of miles away is, there is a geological feature that looks like an excellent representative of Earth. Thank you Mars Bear.

This story has been updated with more information about the bear-like formation on Mars.

https://mashable.com/article/mars-crater-bear-space On Mars, an astonishing formation looks like a bear

Zack Zwiezen

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