NASA image of Mars ‘threshold’ sparks conspiracy theories – here’s what you’re really watching | Science & Technology News

At first glance, a photo of Mars released by NASA appears to show a doorway carved into the rock.

The grainy image, captured by the Curiosity rover last week, clearly shows a rectangular void in the rock’s surface and has probably given rise to conspiracy theories that see it as evidence of alien life on Earth. red planet.

As long as humans have looked up at the sky, we have seen things that aren’t really there – whether images of constellations, faces on the moon or a “mystery hut” discovered by Chinese scientists turned out to be a rock.

China's lunar exploration mission identified a & # 39;  mysterious hut & # 39;  on the horizon of the moon.  Photo: CNSA / Our Space
China’s lunar probe mission has identified a ‘mysterious hut’ on the moon’s horizon. Photo: CNSA / Our Space

And the simple explanation for the “door” on Mars is actually in the picture itself if you look closer, scientists say.

It shows evidence that the feature was formed through “normal geological processes”, Professor Sanjeev Gupta at Imperial College London explained to The Daily Telegraph.

A deep crack or fissure is visible inside the “door”, indicating a faulting in the rock – something that happens on both Mars and Earth and could happen any time in a few hundred million years via.

Prof Gupta, who worked on the Curiosity mission with NASA, said: ‘A fissure is a rift and they are abundant on Mars and Earth – there’s no need for cakes to make them.

“There’s nothing strange in the photo – these are just normal geological processes.”

Perspective also comes into play – NASA says the crack only appears to be a full-sized door because the image is magnified so hugely.

A spokesperson explained to Snopes, a fact-checking website, that the void is actually a small crevice in a rock.

“The team’s scientists emphasized how small it is,” they said, about 30 cm x 45 cm.

According to the scientists, “there are linear faults throughout this overhang, and this is where several linear faults occur to intersect,” they added.

The good news is that the Curiosity rover is continuing its search for life on Mars, or at least signs that life once existed there.

NASA Explorer landed in Jezero Crater on February 18 last year – along with the Ingenuity Mars helicopter – and collected samples and sent back images.

That’s by spending at least two years exploring the area.

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