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Rover Finds Mysterious Dome on Mars

Holy Buckminster Fuller! Is that a dome on the surface of Mars? A photograph taken by the Opportunity Rover shows what appears to be a dome or dome-topped structure on the Martian surface. Is it real? What is it made of? Does this mean Martians have a football team?

Photo of dome showing more of the nearby landscape

Photo of dome showing more of the nearby landscape

The pictures were taken on Sol 4073 (Martian Day 4073 or 2015-07-10 UTC on Earth) by the Opportunity rover’s panoramic camera (Pancam). The structure is easy to spot as it sits forward on a hill and is the largest raised formation in the area. Its isolation and surface – which appears to be different than the surrounding rocks and soil – makes it look like it doesn’t belong in the natural layout of the area. If it’s not natural, what is it?

A glow or light in the middle of the dome suggests it may be metallic and reflecting sunlight. Or it could be a window emitting internal light. If it is indeed a domed building, a smaller formation to the right of the dome could be a storage facility or living quarters.

Close-ups showing reflection on metal siding or lights from windows

Close-ups showing reflection on metal siding or lights from windows

While this seems to be the first dome found on Mars, other have been discovered on the surface of the Moon. These so-called “lunar domes” are thought to be the result of ancient eruptions that formed shield volcanoes which are relatively flat and wide. In overhead photos, they appear to be glass domes, which leads some to believe they’re not natural but made by humans or past lunar residents.

Lunar dome

Lunar dome

The Martian dome is higher than the typical lunar dome or shield volcano on the Moon or Earth. Was it made by humans? There are many who believe that humans have visited and even lived on Mars. Was it made by another species? If so, why have we found only one? Could it be a scouting outpost?

What do you think this Martian dome discovered by the Opportunity rover is? Unusual rock formation? Optical illusion, possibly of another hill or mountain behind the hill? Human or alien-made structure? Something else?

Is this what it once looked like?

Is this what it once looked like?

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  • Peder Ås

    Just fantasy

  • John Kerans


  • hickhamt

    BB8 literally lost his head again…

  • Phukazz

    Mosques are everywhere! How come this one didn’t come up on my Pipboy?

  • Mike

    There is little-to-no-doubt… at all, that this will immediately be tagged as pareidolia. It is the perfect sidestep for things that have no logical explanation.

    Well, unless it was something NASA could make some money from…
    (Hope this is passes review. It is fitting.)

  • Jaimie Blanton

    Your comment doesn’t either.

  • draphius

    very interesting and is probly another one of those things that nasa should investigate closer but will keep on driving right on by. the structures to the right of it are interesting aswell. almost appears like a path or something leading to a small dome like structure with a door, albiet the artifacting is great in those closeups. need to get closer.

  • brucethedrummer

    well, NASA lets roll our little robot over there and have a look! Tax payers paid for that thing and it’s primary mission is over. So get to it.

  • vietvet1968

    Even if its natural its worth taking a look…so far all NASA is doing is sending the robot over boring rock surfaces. But then NASA has a different agenda, no curiosity in NASA.

  • Stan LeMan

    My bet is it’s a Soviet era space probe – like the Mars 2 & 3 probes/landers. Their upper bodies had dome-like constructions.

  • PaulfromTexas

    looks like a bowling ball to me, one hole hidden in the dirt of the backyard sandbox setting where this was taken….

  • I’ll just be blunt here

    then I’ll buy a new tv and shop at whole foods while watching american idol on my iphone.

    seriously. many people’s lives wont be affected by the discovery of aliens.

  • Jason L

    No one mentions the slide or tube looking thing that looks like a snake or an “S” next to it? And the other dome with a clear dark shadow resembling an opening in it?

  • Nick Dean

    Iron meteorites burned smooth by entry into the Martian atmosphere…which was more dense millions of years ago!
    There are more recent rover drillings/analysis of these to see, if you search!

  • BW

    And all media comments on this photo dropped off in early December 2015. As usual, ignore anything unusual and it will be soon forgotten.