NASA Solves Mystery of 'Jelly Doughnut' On Mars

NASA Solves Mystery of 'Jelly Doughnut' On Mars

NASA researchers have confirmed that the oddly shaped rock that appeared on Opportunity's cameras is a fragment from a larger rock broken by the rover's wheel.

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have solved the mystery of the jelly doughnut-shaped Martian rock. The rock, dubbed Pinnacle Island, appeared on January 8. Images from the Opportunity Mars rover showed that the strange rock had not been present four days before. The rock's appearance fueled jokes about Martians and even a lawsuit that alleged the rock was in fact a fast-growing fungus that NASA was obligated to investigate. The real source of the rock is much more mundane. Further photos from Opportunity show a larger piece of similar-looking rock uphill from where Pinnacle Island appeared. Treads in the Martian surface show that the rover drove over the original rock, breaking off a piece and moving it to its current location.

"Once we moved Opportunity a short distance, after inspecting Pinnacle Island, we could see directly uphill an overturned rock that has the same unusual appearance," says Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis. "We drove over it. We can see the track. That's where Pinnacle Island came from." Analysis of Pinnacle Island showed that the white and red rock has high levels of manganese and sulfur. These elements are water soluble, and their highly concentrated presence in the rock suggests the action of water.

Opportunity will now move on to explore a ridge that is known informally as the McClure-Beverlin Escarpment. The name honors engineers Jack Beverlin and Bill McClure, who risked their lives to save the Mariner 6 craft on February 14, 1969. During a routine test, several valves failed to close, causing the Mariner 6 craft to lose pressure. McClure and Beverlin received the NASA Exceptional Bravery Medal for preventing the destruction of the spacecraft. Mariner 6 and 7 was the first successful dual mission to Mars. February 14 marked both the 45th anniversary of Beverlin and McClure's actions and the Martian solstice. Opportunity's solar array will now have more solar energy available each passing week.

Source: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory via The Register

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And because the rover didn't look up form that spot for a week, it failed to notice the two Martians sitting on a ridge discussing what they bloody hell the thing was doing.

is it just me or is there a foot print in the middle top section of the picture.

is somebody telling porky pies.

(porky pies = lies. just thought i clear that up for people)

arkwright:
is it just me or is there a foot print in the middle top section of the picture.

is somebody telling porky pies.

(porky pies = lies. just thought i clear that up for people)

I think it's the tread pattern from the rover's wheels. At least, that is what NASA want us to think! [/tinfoilhat]

a lawsuit that alleged the rock was in fact a fast-growing fungus that NASA was obligated to investigate

Someone really tried to sue NASA for that? If NASA really thought it was a fast growing fungus they would have investigated it anyway because it would be evidence of life on another planet. No need to try and sue them.

The fix is in, folks. NASA is covering up the fact that the martians serve complimentary donuts at their visitors welcome centers for fear that the Chinese will flood Mars with hungry scientists, thus violating our security. This decision was reached as a result of a disinformation recommendation by the CIA. They did agree to post a sign saying "All illegal aliens welcome in the U.S. Vote for "Who cares..." Hillary." It is surmised this will relieve any anxiety over the illegal crossing of the Martian borders. As an aside, the donuts were scrumptious - jelly filled!

Me55enger:
And because the rover didn't look up form that spot for a week, it failed to notice the two Martians sitting on a ridge discussing what they bloody hell the thing was doing.

Or the Dunkin Donuts across the street. It turns out, even Mars runs on Dunkin.

Zachary Amaranth:

Me55enger:
And because the rover didn't look up form that spot for a week, it failed to notice the two Martians sitting on a ridge discussing what they bloody hell the thing was doing.

Or the Dunkin Donuts across the street. It turns out, even Mars runs on Dunkin.

Screw that, Mars is definitely a Krispy Kreme planet. You think the galaxy would tolerate such an inferior donut chain when Krispy Kreme is the best in the galaxy?

amaranth_dru:

Screw that, Mars is definitely a Krispy Kreme planet. You think the galaxy would tolerate such an inferior donut chain when Krispy Kreme is the best in the galaxy?

It's a well-known fact that Mars is closer to Boston. They're even Sox fans.

It's a sad day for our solar system when the most interesting thing we can find on Mars is a broken rock.

bloody smart martian bastards!

Daaaah Whoosh:
It's a sad day for our solar system when the most interesting thing we can find on Mars is a broken rock.

More importantly: A rock we broke ourselves. Not just a rock that was broken by something on Mars, or mysteriously broke on its own, no. It's a rock that we broke ourselves and we didn't figure out for over a month what it even was.

FEichinger:

Daaaah Whoosh:
It's a sad day for our solar system when the most interesting thing we can find on Mars is a broken rock.

More importantly: A rock we broke ourselves. Not just a rock that was broken by something on Mars, or mysteriously broke on its own, no. It's a rock that we broke ourselves and we didn't figure out for over a month what it even was.

I thought it might have been caused by wind and was almost crucified when this story originated... While I would love concrete proof that there is alien life out there, apart from the theoretical obvious, I want something undeniable rather than 'We tripped, but don't tell anyone'.

FEichinger:

Daaaah Whoosh:
It's a sad day for our solar system when the most interesting thing we can find on Mars is a broken rock.

More importantly: A rock we broke ourselves. Not just a rock that was broken by something on Mars, or mysteriously broke on its own, no. It's a rock that we broke ourselves and we didn't figure out for over a month what it even was.

So THAT's why NASA kept receiving those court summons in martian...

Durn it. First the stone face, and now this! Stop debunking everything and leave us with some Mars mysteries!

So....When is that Olympus Mons operation going to happen?

(Meanwhile, at Stargate Command...)

Carter: Sir, the MALP has just uncovered some strangely-shaped rocks. I don't think it's coincidental.

O'Neill: Carter...they're just rocks. They were probably just run over. This is Mars, not the far-flung reaches of space.

FalloutJack:
(Meanwhile, at Stargate Command...)

Carter: Sir, the MALP has just uncovered some strangely-shaped rocks. I don't think it's coincidental.

O'Neill: Carter...they're just rocks. They were probably just run over. This is Mars, not the far-flung reaches of space.

Carter: But sir, take a closer look...it spells out a message.

O'Neill: "Steven...Hawking...Is...A...HEY!" Resoect to anyon e that got that reference. XD http://shehulk.sliverofice.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/stephen-hawking-is-a-bastard-atomic-robo.jpg

 

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