NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spots SECOND Star Trek logo on Red Planet

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Wdowiak Ridge

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Wdowiak Ridge

The dune on Mars is not the only Star Trek reference seen in space recently.

However big Earthlings' plans to send a manned mission to Mars are, it seems that the Starfleet might have been the first to reach the much-coveted destination, a notion which follows from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's snapshot of a giant formation shaped strikingly like the organisation's famed chevron.

A NASA spacecraft captured a photo of a dune on the surface of Mars that looks suspiciously like the famous Starfleet logo from Star Trek. Before you start thinking it's faked or that it was put there intentionally, there's actually a logical reason for it. The chevron-type shape is caused by dunes, wind and lava that's formed over millions of years.

Since 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnoissance Orbiter (MRO) has been exploring Mars from orbit, capturing some of the most detailed - and interesting - images of the surface of the Red Planet with its HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera. Even Captain Kirk himself (actor William Shatner) has weighed in.

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Then came lava. Eruptions spilled the molten substance across the area surrounding the dunes, but it wasn't thick enough to cover them entirely.

But they were still dunes, so the brutal Martian wind could move them, making the dunes migrated.

The statement from the University further explains: "However, since they are still just dunes, and the winds do keep blowing, the sand piles wither away, leaving behind what looks like "footprints" in the lava plain". By the time it eventually cooled, the pattern was already there, with the sand dunes remaining "stuck up like islands", the statement said. "These are also called "dune casts" and record the presence of dunes that were surrounded by lava".

Of course, the Starfleet logo taking shape on the Red Planet is just a coincidence.

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