A stunning Gigapan – an intricately detailed and high quality pixelated panoramic image – has been uploaded into the public domain and may well point to the existence of plant life on the planet Mars.
The phenomenal image was uploaded to the internet by a NASA Ames consultant who perhaps did not realize the full significance of what they posting. The caption to the image read that the photograph was captured by the Mars Curiosity Rover and is possibly the largest and clearest set of images taken in this particular region of Mars. The consultant wrote that it is possible to look at the image for days and still manage to miss a number of important details and clues that it could give regarding the ancient landscape of the Red Planet.
COULD THERE BE TREES ON MARS?
According to internet users, this definitely appears to be true as it seems that the consultant who uploaded the image did not notice a particularly important detail – what appears to be a tree planted directly in the midst of the desolate Martian landscape.
The suggestion that there could be a tree growing on the planet Mars has provoked excitement and skepticism in equal measure. Some have suggested that the image must be a fake, although it has been authenticated by independent sources. Given that, it has been dismissed as a mere trick of the light and shadows, a theory which has been criticised given the sophisticated photographic methods used to take the picture.
Experts studying Mars do believe that there was a time when the Red Planet was covered with large bodies of water which they think could have very feasibly given rise to rudimentary life forms, such as bacteria. It has even been suggested that given the extreme resilience of microorganisms that some of these life forms may even have survived to this day.
However, it has never been suggested that Mars was capable of hosting more sophisticated forms of life such as trees before and nor is it considered possible that the climate of the planet is hospitable to such life forms today. Despite all that, as we come to learn more about the fascinating history of the Red Planet it may transpire that there is far more to this fascinating image that could have been imagined only a few years ago.