By Neha Yadav
Published Jun 25, 2024

Hindustan Times
In Focus

Photo Credits: NASA

'Space potato' 'Purple rain', more: 4 discoveries on Mars by NASA that will amuse you

The dry, rock, and bitter cold surface of Mars shelters mysterious information gradually being discovered by the US space agency NASA. 

From "purple rain" to the incoming "space potato", here are 5 amusing discoveries on Mars by NASA that will stun you.

"Purple rain"

NASA shared a video of purple-coloured auroras across Mars' nightside as detected by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument aboard NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) orbiter.

"Space potato"

NASA shared this image of Phobos, the Martian moon. According to NASA, Phobos, which looks like a "space potato", is on a collision course with Mars at a rate of six ft every 100 years. Therefore, it is likely to crash into Mars in 50 million years or break into a ring.

Book-like rock on Mars

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured this close-up image of the rock nicknamed "Terra Firme" which looks like an open book. Rocks like this are formed by water seeping through cracks in a rock in the ancient past.

"A bear lookalike on Mars"

This interesting image was captured by HiRISE aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It shows a V-collapsed structure, two craters, and a circular crack around it, forming a pattern of a bear's face.