As NASA’s equipment continues to enhance our understanding of the dusty, red planet, the Mars rover named Perseverance recently caught sight of an anomaly that has made some viewers question whether we’ve found proof of alien life.
We’ve all heard the jokes about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The creature is a being that came into existence from the imaginations of some internet comedian circa 2005. The concept of an all-knowing noodle-shaped creature was supposed to be satire. But it quickly picked up traction and even sparked the beginning of “Pastafarianism” and even the Church of the Spaghetti Monster (seriously, look it up). Of course, this is all just a tongue-in-cheek approach to otherworldly beings. However, a recent NASA image discovered something along Mars’ surface that made some folks reconsider the possibility.
The rover took the photo on July 12 using its Front Right Hazard Avoidance Camera A. It almost looks like some island beachgoer snapped a shot of the sand by the shoreline. Perseverance focused its attention on waves of smooth sand with something odd smack-dab in the center. It seemed to be… a tangled mess of thin noodles.
But before you start converting to Pastafarianism, NASA debunked the creature as just a piece of shredded netting. Likely, this fabric was a part of Dacron netting, a component of thermal blankets that keep equipment from overheating.
“This particular piece of netting appears to have undergone significant unraveling/shredding, suggesting that it was subjected to strong forces,” NASA said.
NASA Shares ‘Deepest, Sharpest Infrared’ Image of Universe From James Webb Space Telescope
The recent spaghetti scare isn’t the only recent photo from NASA that’s gaining attention. Using the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers were able to capture the “deepest, sharpest infrared” image of the universe… and it’s much more remarkable than any carbohydrate creation.
According to NASA, President Joe Biden “previewed the very first image released from the James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s most powerful space telescope. Capturing this was all in a day’s work. (Literally! Webb captured this image in less than a day, while similar images from Hubble can take weeks.)”
“If you held a grain of sand to the sky at arm’s length, that speck is the size of Webb’s view here,” the agency explained.
In the photo, thousands of galaxies appear all across the view. Their colors range from light blue to deep orange. Along with the galaxies, there are quite a few bright stars that light up the jet-black sky.
“These galaxies are part of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, and they are warping the appearances of galaxies seen around them,” NASA wrote in its alt text.
Fascinatingly enough, this isn’t even the farthest back astronomers have ever seen.
“Non-infrared missions like COBE & WMAP saw the universe closer to the Big Bang (about 380,000 years after), when there was microwave background radiation, but no stars or galaxies,” the agency said. “Webb sees a few 100 million years after.”