Mysterious Mars ‘doorway’ explained — Analysis
A photograph taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars that resembles a doorway cut into the side of a cliff is actually just boring old erosion, scientists explained, after people began speculating that the squared-off structure might have been crafted by alien species.
The rover photographed what appears to be an irregular hole in the side of the cliff last week. It was actually made by “normal geological processes,”The Daily Telegraph was told by Professor Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College’s professor. He pointed out a rock fracture that could have occurred at any time in the past few hundred millions years.
Perhaps more important – for humans seeking that ever-elusive proof of extraterrestrial life, at least – the “doorway” is quite small, so much so that if some entity did make its home there, it probably wouldn’t pose much of a threat to humans. Planetary geologist Nicholas Mangold calculated the alcove’s height at less than three feet, while experts who spoke to “fact-checking”Snopes reported that it measured only 30cm by 40 cm.
Curiosity took the image on May 7, and it went viral Thursday. People began to speculate that the area was a doorway. Although there is no way to determine how tall it actually stands, the image certainly looks like one. Even British geologist Neil Hodgkins called it “a very curious image” before admitting it “look[ed] like natural erosion”He will be grateful.
Geologist to blame “Martian winds”For eroding horizontal strata, exposed on the surface. They pointed out where they intersected natural vertical fractures. The picture seems to show. “a large boulder [having] fallen out under its weight”From the Martian gravity, leaving behind a hole that attracted so much attention. To the right is the boulder. “door”See the image.
The door to alien life is not proof, but it’s certainly possible. “all very natural and similar to outcrops you can see in many arid places on Earth,” said the scientist.
Since last February, Mars has been explored and photographed by the Curiosity rover as well as Ingenuity Mars’ helicopter. They plan to collect samples from Mars and spend at least 2 years in the Jezero region.