After the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured images of a “dune footprint” that look similar to the Starfleet Insignia from Star Trek, NASA took to Twitter to joke about the resemblance.
The MRO’s mission is to take pictures and collect data about the Martian surface. The recent images, which depict the chevron shapes in the sandy area of Hellas Planitia, were published by the MRO HiRISE camera team at the University of Arizona. In the tweet, NASA posted a photo accompanied by a famous quote from the hit sci-fi show: “Dunes, lava, and wind are responsible for this curious shape on Hellas Planitia, Mars. Boldly go.”
Later, NASA gave an official statement explaining the nature of the bizarre shapes. It seems that millions of years ago, the area was covered in massive crescent-shaped sand dunes that moved at some point due to the vibrations of an eruption.
NASA Makes Jokes On The “Star Trek” Sign Spotted On Mars By The MRO
A volcano located near the Hellas Planitia erupted, and lava flowed all over the area, but it did not cover the dunes completely. After the lava cooled down, it started to solidify, and dunes remained to stick out like weirdly-shaped islands.
As time passed, the Martian winds blew away the sand at the top of the dunes, leaving the footprints in the lava plain. Thee marks are called “dune casts” and are proof of the existence of dunes surrounded by an area covered in molten lava.
Those being said, the weird symbols that were seen on the Red Planet are nothing but normal. Indeed, the resemblance to the Starfleet Insignia is uncanny, but it is just a hilarious coincidence. “Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo: and you’d be right, but it’s only a coincidence,” NASA said.