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NASA orbiter spots a Starfleet logo in a dune on Mars

NASA’s Reconnaissance Orbiter spots a ‘Starfleet logo’ on a MARS dune

  • Experts say that the curious chevron shapes are the result of a volcanic eruption
  • Crescent shaped dunes were covered in lava and stuck up from Mars like islands 
  • As the wind continued to blow the sand piles that were the dunes migrated away 
  • This object was left as a ‘footprint’ in the lava plain of Mars’ Hellas Planitia
  • In a case of life imitating art, scientists have spotted a Starfleet logo in a sand dune on Mars.

    NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) took a picture of a geological formation bearing the iconic symbol and beamed it back to the space agency.

    Fans of the long-running science fiction title were quick to point out that the object mirrors the plot of an episode of the latest incarnation of the show

    The dune bears an eerie similarity to the insignia trekked across a desert by Captain Philippa Georgiou and Commander Michael Burnham in the pilot of Star Trek: Discovery.

    The pair walk across the surface of an alien world on which they are stranded to signal their location to the USS Shenzhou, which is in orbit. 

     

    In a case of life imitating art, scientists have spotted a Starfleet logo in a sand dune on Mars (pictured) NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took a picture of a geological formation bearing the iconic symbol and beamed it back to the space agency.

    HOW DO CRESCENT DUNES FORM? 

    A crescentic dune – also known as a barchan dune – is a U-shaped type of sand dune that consists of horns or tips that point downwind or against the wind. 

    They form in regions with hard ground, a constant wind direction and a plentiful supply of sand and can reach more than 100 feet (30m) high.

    On Earth, they can usually be found around shrubs and larger rocks, which act as anchors to hold the central area of the dune in place while the tips are blown away by the wind. 

    Barchan dunes can also be found on other planets, including Mars.

    Experts say that the curious chevron shapes – found in volcanic plain of the southeast Hellas Planitia – are the result of a complex story of dunes, lava, and wind.

    Long ago, there were large crescent-shaped – or barchan –  dunes that moved across this area, and at some point, there was a volcanic eruption. 

    The lava flowed out over the plain and around the dunes, but not over them, say researchers from the MRO HiRise camera team at the University of Arizona

    The lava solidified, with these dunes sticking up like islands.

    However, as the wind continued to blow, the sand piles that were the dunes migrated away, leaving these ‘footprints’ in the lava plain. 

    These are also called ‘dune casts’ and record the presence of dunes that were surrounded by lava. 

    The dune bears an eerie similarity to the insignia trekked across a desert by Captain Philippa Georgiou and Commander Michael Burnham in the pilot of Star Trek: Discovery. The pair walk across the surface of a planet to signal their location to the USS Shenzhou in orbit

    The dune bears an eerie similarity to the insignia trekked across a desert by Captain Philippa Georgiou and Commander Michael Burnham in the pilot of Star Trek: Discovery. The pair walk across the surface of a planet to signal their location to the USS Shenzhou in orbit

    NASA shared the image on Twitter alongside the quip: ‘Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo.’ 

    Fans of the show have been responding to the unusual find, as well as its similarity to the plot from the first episode.

    In reference to the plight of the main characters, Jon Dale said: ‘Instead of marvelling at this quirk of nature, shouldn’t NASA be rescuing Captain Georgiou?’ 

    Others shared their appreciation for the series, as well as sharing the news with fellow aficionados.

    Mark Carpenter said: ‘The explanation is simple. William Shatner has already been there and Martians built a great carved sand dune in his honor.’

    Rose MoonFeather added: ‘What if aliens only have access to our TV waves and somehow only ended up with Star Trek.. and this is their way of saying hello.’

    NASA shared the image on Twitter alongside the quip: 'Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo'

    NASA shared the image on Twitter alongside the quip: ‘Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo’

    In reference to the plight of the main characters on Star Trek: Discovery, Jon Dale said: 'Instead of marvelling at this quirk of nature, shouldn't NASA be rescuing Captain Georgiou?'

    In reference to the plight of the main characters on Star Trek: Discovery, Jon Dale said: ‘Instead of marvelling at this quirk of nature, shouldn’t NASA be rescuing Captain Georgiou?’

    Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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