June 17, 2024

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The 'door' on Mars turned out to be much smaller than thought

The ‘door’ on Mars turned out to be much smaller than thought

It’s more like a dog door, a NASA joke.

The photo has provided quite a bit of entertainment and a slew of wild stories in recent weeks. We’re talking, of course, about the image taken by the Curiosity spacecraft earlier this month of a knoll that could be considered Mount Sharp; A 5.5 kilometer tall mountain in the heart of Gale Crater on Mars. in that hill The break turned out to be a lot like a “door”

The photo spread quickly and sparked a lot of speculation. Some wondered if this was where Mars was hiding. Others speculated preoccupiedly where the entrance would lead; Was it a gateway to New York or Narnia?

more information
And so it often happens when we see something crazy in satellite images; Our imaginations were wild. This did not go unnoticed by NASA, because after a few days the US space agency – the owner of the photographer Curiosity – felt compelled to provide some basic information with the image.

dog door
For example, NASA announced the size of the door. It turned out to be a little disappointing. For example, according to NASA, the door is only 30 cm high and 40 cm wide. It’s about the size of a dog door.

natural origin
Any new speculation about Martian dwarfs was immediately quelled by NASA. The US space agency, for example, confirms that we are dealing with a natural break here. “Open fractures like this are common on both Earth and Mars,” the US space agency said.

new pictures
In addition, NASA has also released a number of new (3D) images of the “dog door”.

Some new photos of the hill where a crack that looks like a door has been spotted. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

Although the idea that Martians carefully dug the “door” into the hill can now certainly be tossed in the trash, that certainly doesn’t mean we can throw a whole idea of ​​life on Mars out into the sea. In fact, even NASA considers it very likely that there has been life at least once on the Red Planet. While Mars is dry and cold today, the planet was wet and warm in the past, which makes it more inviting for life. The Mars rover Curiosity is exploring Gale Crater—which must have included an entire lake in warmer, wetter times—to learn more about this transition from wet to dry. Elsewhere on Mars, the Perseverance Chariot on Mars is being searched specifically for traces of (decaying) Martian life. For the time being without result, but the proverbial door – when it comes to life on Mars – will remain open for the time being.

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