Mars, he’s making eyes at me
Saturday, March 13, 1999
The Daily Mail
Looking as if it could have been drawn by a child, this picture of a happy-faced crater was taken by a Nasa spacecraft which began mapping the surface of Mars this week.
The bizarre effect is caused by geographical features within the 134-mile-wide Galle Crater on the eastern side of a basin called the Argyre Planitia. The smile was snapped by the space agency’s £100 million Mars Global Surveyor, which was launched in 1996 on a ten-year mission of space exploration.
It reached the Red Planet in September 1997 but it was only this week that the small robotic craft began its main scientific mission after a long delay in achieving the proper orbit for mapping the surface.
The happy face was first noticed in images sent back to Earth during the Viking 1 mission to Mars in 1976. Viking also returned images of the rather more sullen’Mars Face’, which looks like a skull with empty eye sockets.
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