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Game of Thrones fever reaches Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter camera team spots a House Stark symbol on the Red Planet.

Do you see the House Stark logo in this Mars landscape?
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

If you're still swooning after Sunday's Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, you might look at this image of Mars and see a familiar sigil, the House Stark direwolf. It's facing the wrong way and it's distorted, but it still resembles a wolf with a gaping mouth. 

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped the view, and the MRO's HiRise camera team at the University of Arizona shared it on Monday. The HiRise Twitter account called out its likeness to the Stark wolf. 

The dark streaks are actually impact-induced dust avalanches, which sounds like something you might encounter in sandy Dorne. 

"In this scene we see what appears to be a new impact cluster and, extending downhill from the craters, new dark slope streaks," the HiRise team reported. The avalanches exposed the darker ground beneath. 

While the close-up is pretty cool, a version of it seen in wider context is even better. The dramatic black and white image makes it look like Mars is north of the Wall. 


The MRO's HiRise camera saw this dark formation on the surface of Mars.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

The House Stark direwolf joins a procession of fun imagined MRO sightings on Mars, including video game star Pac-Man and Beaker the Muppet

The Stark cameo goes along nicely with NASA's view of "dragon scales" on Mars just ahead of the season 7 premiere in 2017. Now we need to look for a Lannister lion tucked into the Red Planet's dusty landscape somewhere. 

Originally published 3:34 p.m. PT.