July 12, 2024

NASA probe makes an unusual discovery on Mars

NASA probe makes an unusual discovery on Mars

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from: Tanya Banner

Another NASA rover is making a strange discovery on Mars. This time it’s Curiosity that finds something it doesn’t seem to belong to.

Pasadena – For many years, the planet Mars has been scrutinized by a fleet of robotic explorers. Several space probes are orbiting the red planet and examining it from the air, and there are currently two spacecraft on Mars from the US space agency NASA, operating on the surface of the planet. True to the adage “he who seeks shall find,” two NASA rovers in particular continue to discover strange things on Mars.

Often these are things that shouldn’t even exist on the Red Planet — the Perseverance rover has already photographed an alleged “frog” on Mars, and fellow robotic Curiosity has discovered a “gateway” on Mars — which turns out to be. another thing. A flower or coral and a “floating spoon” have also been seen on Mars.

The Mars rover Curiosity makes a strange discovery on Mars

Now Curiosity is attracting attention with its latest discovery: The rover, which has been rolling over the surface of Mars since the summer of 2012 and closely examining rocks, has discovered something that shouldn’t even exist on Mars: a book. Of course, the current discovery is not a book with printed pages made of paper, but a stone in the shape of an open book – just like a frog, for example, was also a cross-shaped piece of rock.

“My team believes this unique stone is reminiscent of an open book in which the wind has moved the pages,” the Curiosity team wrote on Twitter on behalf of the rover. However, the book is only about 2.5 cm wide and is therefore a “small book,” the tweet says.

“Book” on Mars – and many other unusual discoveries

The book-shaped image of the stone was captured by Curiosity on April 15, 2023, using the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. “Oddly shaped rocks are not uncommon on Mars. They often form when water seeped through cracks in a rock in the past, bringing harder minerals with it.” on your website. “After ages of sand blasting rocks with wind, the soft rocks have eroded away leaving only the harder materials.”

Red Mars.  (Icon picture)
Red Mars. (iconic image) © imago / LiaKoltyrina

The phenomenon of objects on Mars with so much regularity that don’t appear to belong to Mars has a technical term: pareidolia. The term refers to a perceptual effect whereby familiar objects are recognized in unfamiliar formations – eg shapes in clouds in the sky or a face on a full moon. Especially with images of Mars, it often happens that something is interpreted in an image that cannot exist on Mars. (unpaid bill)

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