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Lady in red

But, alas, the real story behind this debate on the latest discovery lies somewhere else in the mundane life of this mysterious planet.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2008 20:21 IST

Men are from Mars and women from Venus, right? Wrong, if you believe a new report doing the rounds. According to it, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa)’s Mars explorer ‘Spirit’ have sent back images that show a “naked woman with her arm outstretched walking down a hill on the arid planet”. The fact that Nasa is yet to officially confirm or deny this has only added to the feverish speculation about the lady on the red planet.

The ‘discovery’ is sure to set the pulse of many racing. At least for a certain section of the world’s population who love to look at life through the kaleidoscopic prism of Bollywood possibilities, there will be only one question: was it the full image, or was there someone waiting on the other side? Well, don’t blame these moony-eyed romantics. Even scientists had let their imagination run full–steam on the rocky Martian course when they thought that astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli’s ‘canali’ (Italian for channels) were irrigation canals built by an intelligent civilisation on Mars.

But, alas, the real story behind this debate on the latest discovery lies somewhere else in the mundane life of this mysterious planet. It is the rat race in the world of scientists. The sensational bit of news about the Nasa discovery comes only days after French scientists using the European Space Agency’s Mars Express claimed to have discovered proof that the red planet possesses dense clouds of dry ice, which scud across its orange sky. Is this trans-Atlantic one-upmanship on display? Till we get to the bottom of it, we suggest you sit back and imagine the next half of this Martian spectacle. Oh, if only there were trees in those channels…