NASA Lays to Rest Mars' Rock Mystery
Rover kicked it into camera's view, says NASA
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2014 4:52 PM CST
This composite image provided by NASA shows before and-after images taken by the Opportunity rover.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – Remember when the weird "jelly doughnut" object on Mars made news last month? NASA scientists were happily baffled after it suddenly appeared in images taken by the Opportunity rover. They're baffled no more: Scientists today said they're sure that the object is indeed a rock that got kicked into the camera's view by the rover itself, reports Fox News. (That had been a leading theory at the time, though imaginative skeptics weren't convinced.)

They figured it out with some old-fashioned sleuthing, notes i09—"they followed the tracks" from the rock (now named Pinnacle Island). "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 a NASA statement. "We drove over it. We can see the track. That's where Pinnacle Island came from." (Click to see what Earth looks like from Mars.)

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Justin Sage
Feb 15, 2014 7:59 PM CST
Baloney. NASA, as usual, explained nothing credible.
joepapierzjr
Feb 15, 2014 9:44 AM CST
You don't have the energy or ambition to go out and buy a Sunday paper to read the funnies? No problem. Just check out the reader comments to any Internet article with NASA in the title. They are a source of the silliest and funniest opinions and bogus truths I've ever read. There was a short article about a survey in 2002 that found 39% of the U.S. population don't know the earth orbits the sun? When I read some of these comment I can believe it.
UnkieStu
Feb 15, 2014 5:53 AM CST
Darn it. And I thought some Martian-Kid threw it at our rover, declaring war against the Planet Earth, for being racist and obviously diss'ssing their ancestors (who have "green colored skin)! What a shame. We could have declared war on Mars, and then used all of their oil to turn into gasoline and used in our cars, for free! Gee, I wanted Kerry to be sent to Mars, along with Biden, to get them (the Martians) to sign a "peace-treaty!"