It appears that someone from Starfleet has traveled through a wormhole, gone back in time, and left evidence of a stay on Mars. Several marks such as the one pictured above, were photographed at Hellas Planitia, a place on the red planet, and NASA felt obliged to come up with a more likely story.
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Long ago, there were large crescent-shaped (barchan) 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.
You can open and/or download several versions of the images at the University of Arizona’s site for the high resolution imaging science experiment, or HiRise. -via Geeks Are Sexy
(Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)