|A posting on the NASA website has sparked excitement about life on Mars.
An intriguing image appears to show a human statue like figure walking down hill, however scientists have been quick to squash theories that there is life on the red planet, or that it has been visited by extra-terrestrial beings.
The picture was taken in 2004, but was magnified just recently and posted on the NASA website. However scientists say that people should not get too excited.
”Of course it’s a combination of rocks and shadows,” Sir Patrick Moore said. “Remember the face on Mars? That was far more like a face than this is like a man.”
”It’s a rather interesting image,” Craig Garner from the Stardome Observatory said. “I think the reality of it is it’s a trick of light that’s just picked up on a formation on the rocky planet.”
However, many people have other ideas.
One British paper says it looks like a Martian Bigfoot, while others think it is Mars’ version of the Little Mermaid statue in Denmark.
Bloggers are suggesting it is a garden gnome, while others say it is just a rock.
People have been seeing strange objects on Mars for years, including a face appearing on an image that was taken in 1976.
There was also an apparent pyramid spotted on the surface, as well as what some say to be canals made by intelligent beings.
The good news for stargazers is that Mars is easy to see at the moment. Earth’s orbit around the sun is shorter than Mars’, so every two years it catches up to the red planet and it is in close proximity now.
”If you’re familiar with the constellations, some people refer to it as the pot,” Craig Garner explained. “If you come down from there, there is quite a bright light with a reddish tinge in it and that’s actually Mars. So around 9pm it’s very prominent in the northern sky.”
But the chances of spotting the odd-looking figure are virtually non-existent.
The image was captured just a couple of metres away by one of NASA’s rovers. Sceptics say that would make the figure less than ten centimetres tall.