From the ‘X Files’: “BioBase Alpha” on Mars? -Actually a Streak Artifact from a Cosmic Ray


Two days ago an "armchair astronaut," David Martines, claimed to have identified a base on Mars of "either human or alien origin" while surfing Google Mars. Martines noticed the mysterious rectangular structure on the Red Planet's surface while using a new map program created from compiled satellite images of the planet.

What it actually is turns out to be "a linear streak artifact produced by a cosmic ray," said Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona and the director of the Planetary Imaging Research Laboratory. McEwen is the principal investigator of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), a powerful telescope currently orbiting Mars. "With space images that are taken outside our magnetosphere, such as those taken by orbiting telescopes, it's very common to see these cosmic ray hits. You see them on optical images and a lot of the infrared images too."

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