NASA Spots 'Star Trek' Image on Mars Surface

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But according to NASA, this image of a chevron on the surface of Mars has nothing to do with the iconic sc-fi drama at all.

NASA's planetary researchers, like they always do, had a realistic explanation for the geologic feature, calling it "a complex story of dunes, lava, and wind".

The landmark was created from crescent-shaped dunes, called "barchan", that moved across the area of the planet.

An eruption sent lava pewing out, outlining the dunes but not covering them.

In a clear demonstration of the effects of time and geologic events, the interaction of sand, wind, and volcanic substances allowed for these distinctive crescents to remain long after the lava cooled and the triangular islands emerged.

"However, they were still just dunes, and the wind continued to blow".

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"Eventually, the sand piles that were the dunes migrated away, leaving these "footprints" in the lava plain", the university added in the statement.

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. The symbol is, of course, the actual logo for "Star Trek", the TV series - but while it's mostly been confined to Earth, it's now gone to Mars. "You'd be right, but it's only a coincidence".

Scientists working with the HiRISE instrument have spent years studying the features they see in Mars images, and they think they have a good sense of how this particular shape came to be.

On the Red Planet's Hellas Planitia expanse, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted a rather conspicuous logo that will have trekkies jumping for joy, while rekindling old rivalries with the Star Wars fandom in the process.

The chevron symbol on Mars taken by NASA.

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