Rock mysteriously appears on Mars, looks like doughnut
An odd-looking rock appeared before NASA’s Opportunity Rover on Mars, in a spot where, 13 days earlier, there was nothing.
This before-and-after pair of images of the same patch of ground in front of NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity 13 days apart documents the arrival of a strange, bright rock at the scene. The rock, called “Pinnacle Island,” is seen in the right image on Jan. 8, 2014. The image at left was taken on Dec. 26, 2013.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
A mystery rock on Mars that suddenly appeared in front ofNASA‘s Opportunity rover may look like a tasty donut, but it is like nothing ever seen on the Martian surface before.
The strange Mars rock was spotted by Opportunity on Jan. 8 in a spot where, 13 days earlier, there was nothing. The rock, which scientists now call “Pinnacle Island,” is white on the outside, red in the middle and appeared after Opportunity had just finished a short drive.
“It looks like a jelly donut,” said Steve Squyres, the rover’s lead scientist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., during a recent NASA event marking Opportunity’s 10th year on Mars. “And it appeared, it just plain appeared, at that spot and we haven’t driven over that spot.” [Amazing Photos from NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover]
The odd rock is located in a spot on “Murray Ridge” along the wall of Endeavour Crater where Opportunity is spending the Martian winter. A closer look at the rock using Opportunity’s robotic arm-mounted instruments revealed even more surprises.
“It’s like nothing we ever seen before. It’s very high in sulfur, very high in magnesium, it has twice as much manganese than anything we’ve seen on Mars,” Squyres said with excitement in last week’s Jan. 16 event. “I don’t know what any of this means. We’re completely confused, we’re having a wonderful time.”
(This intro is a reblog from CSMonitor.You can read the full article at the link below-