March 21, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

NASA captures photo of 'bear's face' on the surface of Mars

A strange formation that resembles a bear’s face was captured on the surface of the Red Planet by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter last month. 

Two perfectly placed craters make up the eyes, a hill with a “V-shaped collapse structure” makes up the nose, and a circular fracture pattern forms the head, according to the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, which controls the orbiter’s camera. 

“The circular fracture pattern might be due to the settling of a deposit over a buried impact crater,” the lab explained. “Maybe the nose is a volcanic or mud vent and the deposit could be lava or mud flows?”

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which lifted off from Earth in 2005, is just one of multiple spacecrafts NASA is using to explore the Red Planet. 


Last year, the Curiosity rover snapped a photo of what appears to be a door carved into the otherworldly landscape. The internet went wild with speculation, but the Curiosity team later clarified that it’s just “a natural geologic feature.”

NASA retired the InSight Mars lander after four years on the planet last month after it ran out of power. 

Perseverance, NASA’s other rover on the Red Planet, has been collecting rock samples with its robotic arm and exploring Mars’ landscape since 2021. 

Source: Science