NASA’s Orbiter capturing an image resembling a teddy bear on Mars has to be one of the most pleasant moments of 2023. On 25 January, the University of Arizona shared a photo of the red planet showing a mysterious surface with a unique teddy bear-like formation.
The image was captured by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) which has been taking pictures of Mars since 2006.
More about the teddy bear image on Mars captured by NASA
HiPOD: A Bear on Mars?
This feature looks a bit like a bear’s face. What is it really?
— HiRISE: Beautiful Mars (NASA) (@HiRISE) January 25, 2023
Scientists operating the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) shared that the scaled version of the teddy bear image was originally taken on 12 December 2022. According to CBS NEWS the scaled version shows the bear’s apparent head stretching around 2,000 metres across, nearly 1.25 miles.
University of Arizona describes the picture as “a hill with a V-shaped collapse structure (the nose), two craters (the eyes), and a circular fracture pattern (the head). The circular fracture pattern might be due to the settling of a deposit over a buried impact crater.”
The University also speculates that the nose of the teddy bear might be a volcanic or mud vent and the deposit could be lava or mud flows.
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NASA’s orbiter and the HiRISE camera
After NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began circling Mars, the HiRISE camera is often seen capturing beautiful images of the red planet. According to the University of Arizona, the camera’s “high resolution capability (imaging up to 30 centimeters per pixel) remains unprecedented for any existing orbiter in the study of the Red Planet.”
The official website also states that “It’s a powerful camera designed to take detailed images of the Martian surface, including features as small as 3 feet.” It can also “acquire images containing up to 28 Gb (gigabits) of data in as little as 6 seconds.”
Some of the previous popular and stunning images of NASA include that of winter on Mars captured by Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter and a rock formation resembling a flower captured by the Curiosity Rover.
(Main and featured image credit: HiRISE/Twitter)