People are convinced this mystery object is proof that there is life on Mars
Since time immemorial, human kind has held an unabating obsession with the stars.
For some a much needed reminder of just how small and insignificant we are as individuals in the wider context of the universe we inhabit, to others a terrifying vortex of unknown mysteries; capable at once of confounding and destroying us, space and its context represents something different to each of us.
In recent times, far from an unattainable mystery, space has become a platform for human kind's innate need for exploration. In the near future, space - more specifically other planets - might also become vital aspects of our survival as a race, as human kind blithely hurtles towards its own extinction with reckless abandon.
Indeed, it was only recently that the legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking estimated that it would be necessary for human kind to pack up its bags and leave planet Earth within the next 100 years - a waft of a butterfly's wings relatively speaking.
Perhaps agreeing with Hawking's prognostication, visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk has set the wheels in motion to colonise Mars - an objective that would have been treated as ludicrous mere years ago - but now appears the next logical step along our journey into the cosmos.
Of course, as our explorations into space become more nuanced, so too our preoccupation with the possibility of alien races existing somewhere out in the cosmos burns brighter - the further we travel, the more believable such a scenario appears.
There are certain people, though, who seem all too ready to believe that pretty much any unusually shaped object in space is evidence of alien life. With every faulty NASA feed that appears to cut out at a particularly tantalizing moment, there are conspiracy theorists insisting that what might be explained by others as as some space debris might in fact be a UFO.
Now, this is clearly an artifical or man-made object. It looks like a space cruiser from Star Wars, left behind by Obi-Wan Kenobi as he wanders around on the surface of the red planet. It's definitely not explainable as random debris, it's not a rock. So what really is it? There are three possibilities.
- It could be entry debris, like the heat shield or other parts from a Mars rover entering the atmosphere. This photograph could have been taken by a Rover of its own parts, that had split off from it just moments earlier.
- It could be an alien spacecraft. Yep, just a random little cruiser touched down with some aliens piloting it. But where are the aliens, then? And how could such a small vehicle cross the galaxy? How much fuel could it hold? Does it really look like it could cross light years? I don't see it.
- It could be a NASA vehicle we don't know about yet, some highly advanced cruiser space car that we'll all use one day if we live on Mars inside a giant dome.
What do you think? At any rate, it makes some fun fuel for speculation.