Thursday, August 7, 2014

Is that a face on your comet, or are you just happy to be probed?

Where's Richard C. Hoagland when you need him!? The 'Enterprise Mission' was famous for spotting a 'face on Mars,' one that turned out to just be a trick of the camera and lightning gone awry.. But there's a new trick in space, one perhaps even creepier: The face on the Comet..

It was spotted by the Rosetta probe, the European Space Agency's craft in orbit.. It captured a photo of the 'face,' most likely another optical illusion that will create years of wild speculation..

The face is more like that of a skeleton. Freakishly pale, with a mummified appearance.

Tariq Malik from SPACE.COM points that that these types of 'faces' seen on planets, and now comets, are examples of pareidolia, in which the human brain perceives faces or shapes on random images.. Such as clouds, if you have a good imagination on a summer day..

And anyway, if you take a close look at the extreme left hand side of the comet, it looks like Ferb from Phinneas and Ferb. I think.

The amazing part of this story isn't the fictitious face, it's the true science: Rosetta will be landing on the comet in November. And then it will accompany the comet until its closest approach to the sun in August 2015..

To major stories here: 1) Earthlings are landing a probe on a comet. And 2) NASA isn't doing it..

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