It looks like Star Trek is set to live long and prosper on Mars as its iconic insignia has been embedded on the planet’s surface, as seen in a photo taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the insignia was spotted on the Red Planet.
Star Trek On The Red Planet
The University of Arizona manages MRO HiRise, and one of the latest images it took shows interesting features that look quite like the iconic Starfleet insignia from Star Trek. No, it was not embedded onto the surface by the Enterprise or Discovery crew for a mission, but was likely a result of a complex movement of lava, dunes, and wind.
According to a statement from the University of Arizona, the features in southeast Hellas Planitia likely began with crescent-shaped dunes in the area. When an eruption occurred, the lava flowed around the dunes but not over them, and the features then stuck out like islands when the lava eventually solidified.
“However, they were still just dunes, and the wind continued to blow. Eventually, the sand piles that were the dunes migrated away, leaving these 'footprints' in the lava plain,” it says in the statement, also noting that these formations are called dune casts, and that they are quite like records of the presence of dunes in the area that were surrounded by lava in the past.
Starfleet Insignia On Mars
Interestingly, this is actually not the first time that something resembling the Starfleet insignia was spotted on Mars. In fact, MRO HiRise has photographed many chevrons on the Martian surface before, and some of them also resemble the iconic logo.
For instance, in photos taken on Dec. 30, 2013, one can also see several formations near Mawrth Vallis that look very much like the Starfleet insignia. Just like the newly discovered features, these, too, are believed to have been formed by dunes in a V formation.