Mystery image of 'life on Mars'

That's a headline of a recent article on BBC News covering this early image from the Spirit rover.

Spirit photo of Mars

An image of a mysterious shape on the surface of Mars, taken by Nasa spacecraft Spirit, has reignited the debate about life on the Red Planet.

A magnified version of the picture, posted on the internet, appears to some to show what resembles a human form among a crop of rocks.

It goes on to say...

When the robotic rover set down on 24 January 2004, its images disappointed space-watchers hoping for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Now they appear convinced that this image provides the evidence they have been trawling Nasa's photo files for.

The blown-up image seems to resemble a figure striding among the Martian rocks.

The internet has been abuzz with postings offering theories.

One said it was a garden gnome, another that it was the Virgin Mary.

A third suggested Bigfoot, the hairy bipedal mountain beast that appears in various guises in a number of legends around the world.

But the consensus seemed to be that it bore a striking resemblance to the Little Mermaid statue in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

Now I know this is being treated as a fluff piece, but come on this is the BBC, not the Sun. No sane person in the world expected either rovers to photograph life walking around on the Martian surface.

This is an example of pareidolia and nothing more. When we see the human-shape in context with the rest of the image. We can clearly see it is only about a metre from the rover, making it much smaller than what the images thrown around in the media imply. Also we should keep in mind that these photographs are taken through different filters and then merged to create a final image, this photo would be composed from at least three different photographs across perhaps as much as a minute in time, and in that time as we clearly see the object has not been walking around.

The best evidence of ancient life, or any life for that matter, on Mars is in this image, taken under high magnification it shows a bacteria-like structure in a meteorite from Mars.

The BBC should try reporting real science.

An image of a mysterious shape on the surface of Mars, taken by Nasa spacecraft Spirit, has reignited the debate about life on the Red Planet.

Debate, what debate? The real debate is on if the bacteria-like structure in meteorite fragment ALH84001 is actually evidence for Martian life or not. Not if one of the early photos from Spirit showing a rock a couple of inches tall that looks like it has a head and an arm is life or not, there's no debate there at all, every rational person knows exactly what it is, a rock and too much pattern recognition going on in our brains.

7 comments

Comment from: DM Andy [Visitor]  
DM Andy

The pile of rocks bottom right looks like Jabba the Hutt to me.

Regards
Andy

24th January 2008 @ 08:06
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]  
Matt
5 stars

i think it is a person. Why not take more photos?

24th January 2008 @ 21:09
Comment from: [Member]
Paul

A person that's 2 inches tall? They can't take more photos because this photo is almost 3 years old, taken when the thing was still where it landed, as you can see in the original image.

24th January 2008 @ 21:22
Comment from: Vishu [Visitor]  
Vishu
5 stars

Hiii Your words are fantastic..

27th January 2008 @ 03:35
Comment from: Tim [Visitor]
Tim
5 stars

"...What would happen to the state of mind of America's press if Allah (God) orders the Blacks on Mars to show themselves? Yes, Blacks!", from the book "Closing the Gap: Inner Views of the Heart, Mind, & Soul of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan", pg. 233

28th January 2008 @ 18:07
Comment from: JIMMY [Visitor]
JIMMY
5 stars

WHAT INTERESTS ME MORE THAN THE "FIGURE" IS THE APPARENTLY SQUARE APERTURE IN THE GROUND BELOW A ROCK WITH A SLANTING FLAT FACE JUST ABOVE HALFWAY UP ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE VIEW. DOES NOT LOOK NATURAL AT ALL.

1st February 2008 @ 19:18
Comment from: jessica butts [Visitor]  
jessica butts
5 stars

THAT IS SO GOOD

6th March 2008 @ 23:16


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