Wednesday, January 17, 2024
By
Web Desk

Trekkies assemble! Did Nasa's Curiosity Rover spot Starfleet symbol on Mars?

Latest Curiosity rover images caught Star Trek fans' attention with a familiar object

By
Web Desk
This combination of images shows a Starfleet communicator badge worn by Nyota Uhura who played the role of Lieutenant Celia Rose-Gooding in the movie Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and a rock on Mars. — Star Trek Explorer/Nasa
This combination of images shows a Starfleet communicator badge worn by Nyota Uhura who played the role of Lieutenant Celia Rose-Gooding in the movie "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" and a rock on Mars. — Star Trek Explorer/Nasa

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (Nasa) Curiosity rover recently caught the attention of “Star Trek” fans with a discovery that looks strikingly familiar: the iconic delta symbol that Starfleet officers usually wear on their uniforms.

However, it is highly unlikely that a Starfleet team was on Mars as the object in question is just a rock that happened to resemble the symbol, Space.com reported.

The image was initially posted on the Mars Curiosity raw images site by Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It was captured by the rover's left navigation camera on Mars day, or sol, 4062 of the mission on January 9.

Amateur astronomer Scott Atkinson spotted the symbol and joked about it on X, formerly Twitter, writing: "I bet the Star Trek fans on the @MarsCuriosity team smiled like Cheshire Cats when they saw this new image appear on their screens."

Curiosity, which landed on Mars on August 5, 2012, is currently exploring the conditions of life on the Red Planet by climbing Mount Sharp, or Aeolis Mons, and studying its layers to understand how water flowed in the ancient past of Mars.

The rover is now in a zone that is filled with sulfate, the statement added, which “may be the highest elevation layer it will ever visit."

Curiosity captured the images during a near-term mission to study the composition and texture of dark bands observed from orbit on a dark-toned bedrock block.

The mission's near-term goal is to use various instruments to examine the rocks' texture.