NASA has spotted 'unusual' near-perfectly formed circles on Mars
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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona. mikolajn / Alamy Stock Photo
NASA has spotted something peculiar on Mars.
While there are loads of things on the red planet that spark wonder, this latest development has experts scratching their heads a bit.
Images that have been beamed back by the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRise) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft contain something odd.
Near perfectly-formed circular dunes have appeared at a latitude of 42.505 degrees and a longitude of 67.076 degrees, according to Space.com.
The University of Arizona is responsible for operating the HiRise camera and said these pictures were captured in November last year.
Sand dunes are certainly not uncommon in the slightest on Mars, however there are few that look this perfect.
The University's Alfred McEwan said in a statement that these dunes are 'unusual', adding: "They are still slightly asymmetrical, with steep slip faces on the south ends.
"This indicates that sand generally moves to the south, but the winds may be variable."
Experts added that they have been monitoring this to see how frost works on the red planet in the late winter.
They posted comparable photos showing how the color of the dunes changes when frost is present.
Experts have been combing Mars to see if there are any signs of life or anything else that might pique our interests.
NASA's Curiosity rover discovered some exciting supporting evidence last year that life could have existed back in the day on the red planet.
Rocks collected by the rover contain organic carbon, which could have come from bugs that previously lived on Mars.
The space agency looked at sediment from six locations the rover had explored, including an exposed cliff, and found an ancient carbon cycle.
The space agency suggests that the samples could have a ‘biological basis’, and resemble fossilised remains of microbial life in Australia that date back 2.7 billion years.
Carbon has two stable isotopes – 12 and 13 – and the amounts of these give an insight into its origin.
Professor Christopher House, the lead author of the study from Penn State University in the US, explained: "Those samples were caused by biological activity when methane was consumed by ancient microbial mats.
"But we can’t necessarily say that on Mars because it’s a planet that may have formed out of different materials and processes than Earth."
Teams across our globe have been working around the clock to look into other interesting tidbits from Mars and hopefully we'll get another big update soon.