Mysterious 'angelic figure' spotted on Mars by ESA spacecraft
AN 'angelic figure' on the surface of Mars has been spotted by the European Space Agency.
Scientists were using the Mars Express spacecraft to observe around the south pole of Mars when they spotted what looks like a snow angel formation on the ground.
The researchers may have been feeling festive when they pointed out that the formation looks like it has a halo and two wings.
A heart shape to the right of the 'angel' has also been pointed out.
The ESA said in a statement: "The defined wings of an angelic figure, complete with halo, can be seen sweeping up and off the top of the frame in this image."
The colours are due to the different types of sands in the area.
An enhanced colour image was also released by the ESA.
The angel's left hand is said to be stretched into a 'sublimation pit'.
This is something that occurs when ice on Mars turns into vapour and leaves a depression on the surface.
The ESA added: "The 'head' and halo are formed of an impact crater, created as a body from space flew inwards to collide with Mars' crust."
There's also signs of the surface being disrupted by strong wind formations called 'dust devils'.
The Red Planet is known for its bumpy surface and lots of people think they've spotted mysterious objects there.
An eerie crater on the dusty slopes of Mars' Pavonis Mons volcano was once picked out by two space scientists as a prime spot for extraterrestrials.
Nasa says the "unusual" feature "appears to be an opening to an underground cavern".
An image of the hole was first snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2011, and scientists have studied it ever since.
Here’s what you need to know about the red planet…
- Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun
- It is named after the Roman god of war
- The landmass of Mars is very similar to Earth but due to the difference in gravity you could jump three times higher there than you can here
- Mars is mountainous and hosts the tallest mountain known in the Solar System called Olympus Mons, which is three times higher than Everest
- Mars is considered to be the second most habitable planet after Earth
- It takes the planet 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun
- So far, there has been 39 missions to Mars but only 16 of these have been successful
In other space news, a satellite that can look inside buildings at any time of day has been launched.
China's Moon capsule landed on Earth on Thursday carrying the first lunar samples in over four decades.
And, photos of 'alien soil' from a huge asteroid have been revealed by Japan's space agency.
What do you make on the 'angel image'? Let us know in the comments…
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