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Crater on Mars’ surface could have been caused by ‘terrestrial spacecraft,’ scientists say
Featured Image Credit: NASA/NASA via Getty Images

Crater on Mars’ surface could have been caused by ‘terrestrial spacecraft,’ scientists say

The Rover has come across a strange-looking rock formation

There are many things that can cause a crater to form, but it's seemingly possible that a crater on Mars could have been caused by a somewhat unusual source.

The Curiosity Rover on Mars captured some strange images back in April from the surface of the Red Planet which show some features that might stir up speculation.

The image shows a section of rocks that looks like it has been impacted by tyre tracks or spokes, if you look at it a certain way of course. You may have to squint.

The Mars Rover spotted the crater.
NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS / HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

But the images have led scientists to say, perhaps with their tongue firmly in their cheek: “[A] fragment from an extra-terrestrial or terrestrial spacecraft cannot be discounted with absolute certainty.”

There are other possible explanations for the unusual formation to have come about, which were found when the Rover was exploring the 96-mile-long Gale Crater.

Dr Nathalie Cabrol, the director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, has described the formation as the 'most bizarre rock' she has seen in 20 years of studying Mars.

A research paper has hypothesised that the formations could be 'sand spikes'. These are sometimes formed on Earth during strong earthquakes.

The paper's authors have also said that it's unlikely that the formations were created by human craft that crashed into the Red Planet.

The weird rock formation was spotted on Mars.

Prof Richard Armstrong of Aston University said: “One can only speculate about extraterrestrial origins. Mars images often show strange formations which ‘look like’ familiar objects.”

The discovery comes after the Perseverance rover found evidence of organic matter in the Jezero crater.

While it's an exciting discovery, the precise origins of the organic matter are not clear, and there are a number of possibilities as to how the matter came to exist on Mars.

In an article published in The Nature Journal, the authors speculated about the origins of the organic matter that is present on Mars.

They wrote: "Our findings suggest there may be a diversity of aromatic molecules prevalent on the Martian surface, and these materials persist despite exposure to surface conditions.

"These potential organic molecules are largely found within minerals linked to aqueous processes, indicating that these processes may have had a key role in organic synthesis, transport or preservation."

So while aliens have not been ruled out, it's probably a good idea to take any claims about extraterrestrial life with a big pinch of salt, unless of course they do actually show up.

Topics: News, World News, Space