July 2, 2022

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The true story of the image of the "door" on Mars that was shared by a NASA robot

The true story of the image of the “door” on Mars that was shared by a NASA robot

The NASA’s Curiosity Probe He’s been on Mars for nearly 10 years. Since then, he often shares information that makes an impact. On that last occasion, he painted an image that looks like a door: a clear entrance to a mysterious tunnel dug right out of a rock formation.

Despite the uproar that the photo has caused on social networks or forums like Reddit, geologists have found a reliable scientific explanation. It is possible that the extraterrestrial door was formed naturally.

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Isabel Trotino

What they found was that the fracture was likely caused by something called shear: that is, the result of some kind of stress in a part of the fractured rock, possibly supported by one or two earthquakes.


The image sent by the rover from the surface of Mars

Not supported / AP

In fact, the largest earthquake ever recorded on the Red Planet occurred on May 4 this year, and scientists are still working to determine exactly where and what caused it.

Also, while the gate-like rock formation might appear full-size in our imaginations, it’s possible that the cavity you see is only a few inches high in real life, although it’s hard to be sure of a photo.

The image at a geological feature known as Pediment Greenheugh, was captured by the Mast camera aboard Curiosity, on May 7, 2022.

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Isabel Trotino

A solar panel covered in sand and dust from Mars

In terms of spooky discoveries in space that look like spacecraft, it’s important not to get carried away too much by what gritty images can sometimes suggest.

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The record belongs to the Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2012.

Rover Curiosity

One known case was the strange cubic object discovered by the Chinese rover Yutu 2 on the moon last year. It was said to be some kind of cabin. But upon further investigation, it turns out that the cabin was just another boulder, with tricks of light and perspective giving it its cubic shape.

Likewise, we might assume that surely this mysterious door will eventually have a perfectly ordinary explanation, but in the meantime, we’re having a lot of fun guessing.