This is your last chance to pre-order your Petzval Lens and get the special aperture plates included for free! With estimated delivery in August (or even sooner), don’t miss out on securing your picture perfect portrait lens!

Have an account? Login | New to Lomography? Register | Lab | Current Site:

Today in History (1976): Viking 1 takes the “Face on Mars” photo

On this same day in 1976, a “face” was seen on the surface of planet Mars and photographed. So was there really a face on the red planet’s terrain?

NASA’s Viking 1 was searching Mars for possible landing sites for its sister spacecraft, Viking 2. As it snapped images of the planet’s Cydonian region, it came across an shadowed, two-kilometer elevated area that resembled a human face.

Here is the photo of the ”Face on Mars.”

Photo via Wikipedia

The image was dismissed by Viking scientist Gerry Soffen as an optical illusion created by light and shadows. This conclusion was further strengthened by a photo of the same area taken in 2001.

There was no face. It was just an ordinary Martian mesa, not a sign of extraterrestrial life.

Photo via NASAscience

Information for this article was sourced from Wikipedia and the NASA Science website.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by jillytanrad

1 comment

  1. neanderthalis

    neanderthalis

    It is still nice to remember it as a face smiling back at us.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam