Not all space exploration requires a budget the size of NASA’s or even actual intergalactic travel.

Amateur astronomer David Martines claims he was just goofing around with Google Mars when he found a structure he’s christened “Biostation Alpha.” A YouTube video Martines recorded in which he narrates while examining the site on his computer had reached 1.2 million hits on Monday (June 6) before it was accidentally (conspiracy theory!) taken down.

Luckily, Martines was able to repost the 3:29 minute video that, truth be told, is pretty convincing. At least to us non-Mars experts.

Scientists — who have big brains and know much more about Mars than David Martines and us — claim what we’re seeing is just a glitch in the image.

Planetary geologist Alfred McEwen tells that he suspects cosmic energy of interfering with the camera that shot the image.

“With space images that are taken outside our magnetosphere,” says McEwen, “such as those taken by orbiting telescopes, it’s very common to see these cosmic ray hits.”

Martines isn’t convinced, though. He says he has sent e-mails to NASA asking for an explanation but has yet to receive a reply.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson