NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity recently captured an image of a rock formation that bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Star Trek delta insignia. The photo was taken on January 9th, or sol 4062 of Curiosity’s mission, by its left navigation camera while examining rocks near Mount Sharp.
Amateur astronomer Scott Atkinson noticed the uncanny Star Trek emblem in the raw image and lightheartedly speculated that the Curiosity team likely grinned when they saw it appear on their screens. He shared the photo on social media alongside a close-up of the delta shape.
While it may look like a Starfleet crew paid a visit to the Red Planet, the symbol is simply an intriguing coincidence – a martian rock formation that resembles the iconic sci-fi emblem.
Curiosity has been exploring Mars since its landing in 2012, searching for conditions favorable for microbial life. As it climbs Mount Sharp, it is analyzing layered rock to learn about how the landscape and water flow changed over Mars’ history. The rover recently reached a sulfate-filled zone that may be the highest elevation it will visit.
Curiosity’s ongoing adventures have paved the way for NASA’s next Mars rover Perseverance and future sample return missions. While an interplanetary pit stop by the Enterprise crew remains fictional, Curiosity continues revealing the true wonders of Mars.