Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

June 28, 1999
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

From Mars with Love
Credit: Malin Space Science Systems, MGS, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Are Martians trying to tell us something? An indentation has been recently photographed on Mars that resembles a heart, a common human symbol for love. Because intelligent Martians have never been known to exist, and because formations with similarities have been found that clearly result from natural phenomena, the pit shown above is thought not to be a form of interplanetary communication. Many scientists believe instead that the right-most wall of the two-kilometer wide heart-shaped pit was created by a naturally occurring graben, a surface drop caused by expansion along a fault-line. Perhaps love is easier to find here on Earth.

Tomorrow's picture: Gemini North

< Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.