Nasa makes Star Trek joke after finding ‘dune footprint’ on Mars

Nasa makes Star Trek joke after finding ‘dune footprint’ on Mars

Nasa scientists tweeted a Star Trek joke after a photo was captured of a “dune footprint” on the surface of Mars that looks similar to the Starfleet insignia from the hit sci-fi TV show.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) took images of a series of the chevron shapes in the Hellas Planitia area of the red planet; the discovery was then publicised by the MRO HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera team at the University of Arizona

Nasa quoted Star Trek as it posted the photo on Twitter: “Dunes, lava and wind are responsible for this curious shape on Hellas Planitia, Mars. Boldly go.”

In a statement, Nasa said: “Long ago, there were large crescent-shaped dunes that moved across this area, and at some point, there was an eruption.

“The lava flowed out over the plain and around the dunes, but not over them. The lava solidified, but these dunes still stuck up like islands.

“However, they were still just dunes, and the wind continued to blow. Eventually, the sand piles that were the dunes migrated away, leaving these ‘footprints’ in the lava plain. These are also called ‘dune casts’ and record the presence of dunes that were surrounded by lava.

“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.”

Will George Hamilton GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

- Press Association

More on this topic

Nasa tries again to launch new Orion spacecraftNasa tries again to launch new Orion spacecraft

Jupiter mission blasts offJupiter mission blasts off

Space shuttle Atlantis makes final landingSpace shuttle Atlantis makes final landing

Shuttle prepares for final landingShuttle prepares for final landing

More in this Section

Missing toddler had driven himself to local fair on toy tractorMissing toddler had driven himself to local fair on toy tractor

TripAdvisor quotes LGBT+ hits in legal threat to Straight Pride organisersTripAdvisor quotes LGBT+ hits in legal threat to Straight Pride organisers

Inquisitive baby giraffe comes face to face with young rabbitInquisitive baby giraffe comes face to face with young rabbit

In Pictures: Anti-Brexit protesters float Boris Blimp outside ParliamentIn Pictures: Anti-Brexit protesters float Boris Blimp outside Parliament


Lifestyle

Celebrate the anniversary by finding lift off without even leaving the earth, at these stateside visitor centres and museums, says Sarah Marshall.America’s top space-age attractions to celebrate 50 years since the moon landing

For bookworms and classic movie buffs, the notion of a London park will forever conjure up images of Mary Poppins with the Banks children in tow.Inside/ Out: Park life is looking up in London by Eve Kelliher

“Does anyone want to be my friend?” roared my five year old as he walked into the playground at our French campsite on holidays.Learner Dad: 'It can be heartbreaking watching your kids try make friends on holiday'

These handy product edits are so useful for travelling, says Katie Wright.Palettes pack a punch: The travel must have

More From The Irish Examiner