The orbiter takes a picture of a bear’s face on the surface of Mars

The orbiter takes a picture of a bear’s face on the surface of Mars

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When a NASA orbiter pointed its camera at the surface of Mars, a bear’s face appeared to be staring back.

A camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, called the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment, or HiRISE, captured an image of the unusual geological feature in December.

The circular fracture pattern on Mars forms the shape of the head, while the two craters look like eyes. V-shaped collapse. The structure creates the illusion of a bear’s nose.

The circular fracture could have been caused by sediment being deposited on top of a buried impact crater that was filled with lava or mud. The nose-like feature is likely a volcanic vent or mud vent.

The University of Arizona, which developed the camera using Ball Aerospace, shared the image Jan. 25.

The image recalls another celestial “face” that a NASA space observatory glimpsed in October 2022, when the sun seemed to smile due to dark spots called coronal holes.

Last March, the Curiosity rover spotted a rock formation resembling Venus on Mars.

The HiRISE camera has been taking pictures of Mars since 2006, when the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began orbiting the red planet. The powerful camera is designed to take detailed images of the Martian surface, including features as small as 3 feet (1 meter).

The rover orbits Mars every 112 minutes, flying from about 160 miles (255 kilometers) over the South Pole to 200 miles (320 kilometers) over the North Pole.

The spacecraft and its suite of instruments help NASA scientists study the Martian atmosphere, weather and climate, and how they change over time. The probe is looking for evidence of water, ice, and complex terrain and is exploring future landing sites for other missions.

Recently, the orbiter returned gorgeous images of what winter looks like on Mars.


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