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“You’re looking at zero degrees longitude on Mars – the Greenwich Observatory equivalent on the Red Planet,” NASA wrote on Instagram.

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday released a stunning image of a Mars crater, which has left netizens in complete awe. “The Martian crater marks the spot,” the space agency wrote in the caption of the Instagram image.

NASA captured the image using the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In the social media post, it informed its followers that they are looking at 0° longitude on Mars, which is the Greenwich Observatory equivalent on the Red Planet.

“The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimetres (19.7 inches) per pixel,” NASA wrote in the caption. Take a look at the image below:

Since shared, the post has garnered more than 449,000 likes. Several Instagram users expressed their awe in the comment section. “Looks like an alien footprint on Mars,” wrote one user. “All of God’s creation encompasses beauty and the universe is not an exemption,” said another. “Something spectacular that leaves you speechless!!!” added third.

It is to mention that Greenwich Observatory on Earth sits atop a steep hill in London, UK. It marks Earth’s Prime Meridian, which is a north-south line that defines where east meets west and is used as the zero reference line for astronomical observations.

Coming back to the mesmerising image of Mars, in the caption, NASA revealed that a larger crater sits within a second rocky basin, designated the “Airy Crater”. It explained that the Airy Crater originally defined zero-longitude for the Red Planet, however, as scientists started capturing more detailed images of the planet’s surface, they needed a more precise marker. Therefore, the space agency designated the smaller crater – dubbed Airy-0 (zero) – as it’s Prime Meridian in order to not alter existing maps.

 

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