Author Topic: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover  (Read 621 times)

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Offline aligncare

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Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« on: January 18, 2014, 09:39:37 PM »


After a decade of exploring the Martian surface, the scientists overseeing veteran rover Opportunity thought they’d seen it all. That was until a rock mysteriously “appeared” a few feet in front of the six-wheeled rover a few days ago.

News of the errant rock was announced by NASA Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve Squyres of Cornell University at a special NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory “10 years of roving Mars” event at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday night. The science star-studded public event was held in celebration of the decade since twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on the red planet in January 2004.

More at link ...

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/01/17/mystery-rock-appears-in-front-mars-rover/

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Online EC

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 09:52:05 PM »
Yep. It's a rock.

Any hills or cliffs near by that it could have fallen from?

Otherwise I'd have to conclude that the Martians don't like us on their turf and are pretty bad at throwing rocks.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 10:24:14 PM »
Yep. It's a rock.

Any hills or cliffs near by that it could have fallen from?

Otherwise I'd have to conclude that the Martians don't like us on their turf and are pretty bad at throwing rocks.

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Offline aligncare

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 08:37:30 AM »
Fifth grade. In the library, opening a large picture book with glossy illustrations of the solar system. Seeing a crisp photo of the moon. Wow, astronomy! Captured my imagination those pictures of our closest celestial neighbor. I barely remember how my science teacher looked, but to this day I remember seeing those pictures of Mars and the moon.






Now we have cams exploring Mars. 10 years ago I saw photos of the Martian landscape as they came in. Close-ups of the ground, details of the rocks around the probe's foot, a self-portrait. All on a hand held device connected to an "information web."

I wish I could see us 1000 years from now. Our society and culture. How evolution answered technology. That's an exciting question.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 09:26:10 AM by aligncare »
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Offline Lando Lincoln

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 09:21:43 AM »
Yep. It's a rock.

Any hills or cliffs near by that it could have fallen from?

Otherwise I'd have to conclude that the Martians don't like us on their turf and are pretty bad at throwing rocks.

Either that or the Martians are very clever and have a sense of humor.
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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 09:24:58 AM »


Sliding stones, perhaps?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 09:26:27 AM by DCPatriot »
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Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 10:56:22 AM »
Yep. It's a rock.

Any hills or cliffs near by that it could have fallen from?

Otherwise I'd have to conclude that the Martians don't like us on their turf and are pretty bad at throwing rocks.

The image is somewhat deceptive in it doesn't show scale or the overall angle. We don't know the angle of the ground so it could be on a steep hill and a small tremor or wind could easily move a rock, especially lighter volcanic type rocks.
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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 11:04:17 AM »
The image is somewhat deceptive in it doesn't show scale or the overall angle. We don't know the angle of the ground so it could be on a steep hill and a small tremor or wind could easily move a rock, especially lighter volcanic type rocks.

That's exactly like the sliding stones in Death Valley move.....by the wind.
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Online EC

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 11:22:40 AM »
That's exactly like the sliding stones in Death Valley move.....by the wind.

Yeah - but don't they also need moisture to move? Not much of that on Mars. The regolith there is rotten with peroxides though - they may, I guess, decompose under a sliding stone to provide a friction free surface.
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Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 12:47:39 PM »
Yeah - but don't they also need moisture to move? Not much of that on Mars. The regolith there is rotten with peroxides though - they may, I guess, decompose under a sliding stone to provide a friction free surface.

Nope, sand provides a great surface. Like millions of little ball bearings.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 02:21:57 PM »
Nope, sand provides a great surface. Like millions of little ball bearings.


But EC is right about the Death Valley rocks, they only move after its rained and the ground is still slick and then the wind blows down the valley floor...NOS actually tracks their movements with GPS.
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Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 02:24:06 PM »
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 03:35:49 PM »
It seems like the most logical explanation that we can come up with would be that the rock fell to the surface from the sky.  There are no tracks to show that it slid or rolled and it just seems to have appeared all of a sudden. 
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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Mystery rock appears in front of Mars rover
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 03:51:13 PM »
You know, on closer inspection - there appears to be a conical appearing formation on top of the "rock".  Is it possible that something erupted there that pushed the surface over to the side where it appears to be lying over on its side?
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