Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled NASA continues to disappoint by sharing incredibly high-res, but alien-free photo of Martian surface
Screenshot: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (YouTube)

NASA has just released the highest resolution image of Mars ever seen. On the website sharing this photo—a panorama taken by the Curiosity rover—we’re shown a clear view of the Martian surface that “contains nearly 1.8 billion pixels,” that’s been “composed of more than 1,000 images that were carefully assembled” after being taken by the rover between November 24th and December 1st of last year.


We are sorry to report that not a single alien is visible, making all of this hard work completely useless.

The video above, shared on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s YouTube, offers a comprehensive, remarkably high-definition look at a region of Mars called Glen Torridon. It was created when the poor Curiosity rover, abandoned by its humans during Thanksgiving 2019 with “few other tasks to do while it waited for the team to return,” channeled its sadness into days spent motionless, taking photographs of the surrounding landscape.

Ashwin Vasavada, a NASA Curiosity Project scientist, narrates the clip, pointing out notable details of the landscape, which, we repeat, are ultimately totally uninteresting because they do not contain even a single alien lifeform wearing one of those fishbowl helmets and firing a ray gun at target cut-outs shaped like human beings. “Panoramas like this are like a window to another world,” Vasavada says, which is true, sure, but, when you open a window to Mars, don’t expect us to give a shit unless there are flying saucers buzzing around or reptilian shapeshifters hanging out on the horizon.

If you’d like to inspect the photo further, scanning every bit of the screen for the top of a bulbous green head or a stray set of bobbing antennae, head to the page hosting the image for an uncompressed, 2.4 gigabyte version.


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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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