NASA has revealed a stunning new image of Mars’ crater — and it has a secret meaning.
Monday , US space agency They took to Instagram to share a photo of a strange crater on the Red Planet.
“The crater of Mars represents the place,” NASA officials wrote in the caption below the image.
“You’re looking at 0 degrees longitude on the surface of Mars – which is the equivalent of the Greenwich Observatory on the Red Planet,” the caption continued.
The Greenwich Observatory is located on Earth on top of a steep hill in London indicating where our planet’s prime meridian passes.
Prime Meridian is a line between north and south that defines where east meets west.
Furthermore, it is used as a “zero reference line for astronomical observations,” according to NASA.
In the image of Mars, there is a large crater within a second rocky basin, called the “air crater”.
The air crater originally marked Mars’ zero longitude, but when scientists began taking more detailed images of the planet’s surface, they needed a more accurate marker.
Hence, NASA identified the smaller crater, dubbed Airy-0 (zero), because it is Prime Meridian – to not change existing maps.
The image was captured by the US space agency using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Since the photo was shown live a few hours ago, the photo has garnered nearly 300,000 likes.
Hundreds of Instagram users also commented under the photo to express their dismay.
“I’m not going to lie, the picture kind of annoys me! But it’s really interesting,” wrote one user.
“Wonderful! What a great picture!” added another person.
One third Instagram user noted: “It looks like water.”
This story originally appeared on the sun It is reproduced here with permission.
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