It has been just a handful of days since the Curiosity rover’s camera has immortalized an image that has caused a lot of discussion on the web, leaving the most stunned. On the red planet, in fact, a hole in the shape of a perfectly carved door was discovered. Today we will find out the truth about the “door of the aliens”.
From the branching of the images depicting the recent discovery on the red planet, the web has gone into turmoil, unleashing the most picturesque, absurd and (hopefully) ironic theories. We inform you that none of the latter has turned out to be true and that the structure has nothing artificial.
Scientists, in fact, agree that it is one morphological characteristic of the Martian landscape. Furthermore, it does not seem to be the prerogative of the red planet, as natural homologous structures are also present on Earth.
According to British geologist Neil Hodgson: “This is a very curious image“and giving his response”But in short, it feels like natural erosion to me“.
Geologist Nicholas Mangold of the University of Nantes in France provides clues that would clarify the natural origin of the structure, such as its size. It is, in fact, aopening less than one meter high.
The “door” -shaped structure is a simple shallow crevice in a rock formation and was caused by natural geological processes. Specifically, Hodgson, analyzing the stratification that emerged from the images, assumes that its origin is due to erosion phenomena.
The rock strata visible in the images, which had accumulated for perhaps billions of years, were slowly eroded by Martian winds, exposing the inner portion of the rock formation to the surface. In doing so they continued the sediment erosion process.
According to the geologist, further clues to the naturalness of the phenomenon would be visible in the same images, as there are a series of vertical fractures generated by Martian geological activity. It is also likely that a large block of rock fell from the formation due to gravity, leading to the formation of the ravine.
Some hypotheses on the origin of the structure point the finger on the seismic activity of the planet, also due to the recent recording of the record earthquake on Mars with a magnitude never seen before.
Regarding the conformation of the structure, Mangold stated: “These are fractures in two directions, creating an ‘open box’ with the appearance of a door, nothing artificial“, allowing to establish that the Martian structure was generated naturally.
According to Mangold, the recent seismic phenomena are not directly connected, due to fractures already present in the rock wall, resulting from the water pressure or thermal stress induced by the seasonal variation of the temperature.
As fascinating as it may have been to imagine the artificiality of the “door of the aliens” of Mars, we now know its real nature, but this does not deprive the phenomenon of charm and importance, since, as concluded by Hodgson: “This is a really great image … it just shows what good geology we can do with the images returning from Curiosity and Perseverance“, allowing us to unveil the secrets of the Red Planet.
In the cover image you can admire the photo taken by Curiosity, belonging to NASA, JPL-Caltech and MSSS.
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