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To boldly go: Starfleet logos discovered on Mars

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, May 12, 2014, 1:48 PM - Back in December, NASA scientists discovered a series of Martian sand dunes that bear a strong resemblance to the Starfleet logo from the Star Trek franchise.

An image of a dune field in a large crater near Mawrth Vallis on Mars depicts a series of dunes in a V-shaped formation.

NASA says they're a "function of sand supply, wind speed, and topography" but the image, which was acquired by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Dec. 30, 2013, has gotten a lot of attention online.

That's because the structures bear a resemblance to the Starfleet logo.

These types of dunes can be found on Earth as well, in the Saharan Desert.

The Saharan version is called the barchan dunes and they develop on  flat landscapes when the wind is blowing in only one direction, not unlike the dunes on Mars.

Left: Martian sand dunes. Right: Star Trek's starfleet logo. Sand dune photo courtesy: NASA

Left: Martian sand dunes. Right: Star Trek's starfleet logo. Sand dune photo courtesy: NASA

This isn't the first strange image that's been beamed back from Mars.

In April a bright light was spotted on the Red Planet, spurring speculation of Martian life.

While NASA said the light was most likely due to the sun glinting off a rock, some space enthusiasts are insisting the light is being projected from underground and is a sign of possible life.


SEE ALSO: NASA releases first-ever view of Earth from the surface of Mars


Other strange discoveries include a rock that bears a striking resemblance to a lizard and a "jelly donut".

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