PIA01141: Geologic 'Face on Mars' Formation
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Viking
Spacecraft: Viking Orbiter 1
Instrument: Visual Imaging Subsystem - Camera A
Product Size: 640 x 472 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Producer ID: P17384
Addition Date: 1998-04-02
Primary Data Set: Viking EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA01141.tif (316.9 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA01141.jpg (60.68 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

NASA's Viking 1 Orbiter spacecraft photographed this region in the northern latitudes of Mars on July 25, 1976 while searching for a landing site for the Viking 2 Lander. The speckled appearance of the image is due to missing data, called bit errors, caused by problems in transmission of the photographic data from Mars to Earth. Bit errors comprise part of one of the 'eyes' and 'nostrils' on the eroded rock that resembles a human face near the center of the image. Shadows in the rock formation give the illusion of a nose and mouth. Planetary geologists attribute the origin of the formation to purely natural processes. The feature is 1.5 kilometers (one mile) across, with the sun angle at approximately 20 degrees. The picture was taken from a range of 1,873 kilometers (1,162 miles).

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL

Image Addition Date:
1998-04-02