Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Mars Exploration News .




MARSDAILY
NASA solves mystery of Mars 'doughnut' rock
by Staff Writers
Chicago (AFP) Feb 15, 2014


NASA scientists were finally able to explain the origin of the mysterious rock shaped like a jelly doughnut that appeared near the rover Opportunity in early January.

The small, round object suddenly popped up in pictures taken 12 days apart by the US space agency's decade-old Opportunity rover.

On December 26, 2013, it was not there. On January 8, it was. But what is it?

The explanation is somewhat prosaic: the 1.5 inches (four centimeters) wide, white-rimmed, red-centered rock, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock that was broken and moved by Opportunity's wheel in early January.

"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," said Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis on Friday.

"We drove over it. We can see the track. That's where Pinnacle Island came from."

The rock however is unusual.

A close examination with Opportunity's spectrometer showed "high levels of elements such as manganese and sulphur, suggesting these water-soluble ingredients were concentrated in the rock by the action of water," NASA said.

"This may have happened just beneath the surface relatively recently," Arvidson said, "or it may have happened deeper below ground longer ago and then, by serendipity, erosion stripped away material above it and made it accessible to our wheels."

Opportunity is one of two Mars Exploration Rovers. Its companion, Spirit, stopped communicating with Earth in 2010.

Both have lived long beyond their planned 90-day missions and have made important discoveries about water on Mars and environments that might have supported microbial life in the distant past.

.


Related Links
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MARSDAILY
'Pinnacle Island' Rock Studies Continue
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 14, 2014
Opportunity is up on "Solander Point," part of the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover continues to explore the region called "Cook Haven." The rock named "Pinnacle Island" continues to be a target of investigation. On Sol 3561 (Jan. 29, 2014), an additional overnight integration was performed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on Pinnacle Island. On Sol 3562 (Jan. 30, 20 ... read more


MARSDAILY
Chang'e-2 lunar probe travels 70 mln km

LADEE Sends Its First Images of the Moon Back to Earth

Source of 'Moon Curse' Revealed by Eclipse

NASA bets on private companies to exploit moon's resources

MARSDAILY
What's up, Yutu

China's Jade Rabbit rover comes 'back to life'

Yutu Awakes

Moon plays trick on Jade Rabbit

MARSDAILY
NASA, International Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members

Andrews Space Cargo Module Power Unit Provides Power For Payloads Bound For ISS

Russian Progress M-22M docks with ISS following fast rendezvous

Russian Resupply Spacecraft Begins Expedited Flight to Station

MARSDAILY
Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead

Countdown to Pluto

A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons

MARSDAILY
NASA Spacecraft Get a 360-Degree View of Saturn's Auroras

Cassini's View of Weird and Wonderful Saturn

Clay-Like Minerals Found on Icy Crust of Europa

Cassini Spacecraft Obtains Best Views of Saturn Hexagon

MARSDAILY
Surveying storm damage from space: UK satellite provides images of Somerset floods

Glowing plants a sign of health

Poll: 26 percent in U.S. do not know Earth goes around sun

NASA-USGS Landsat 8 Satellite Celebrates First Year of Success

MARSDAILY
Inside astronaut Alexander's head

Boeing Commercial Crew Program Passes NASA Hardware, Software Reviews

Is truth stranger than fiction? Yes, especially for science fiction

ORBITEC Supports NASA Kennedys Advanced Plant Habitat for ISS

MARSDAILY
Kepler Finds a Very Wobbly Planet

One planet, two stars: new research shows how circumbinary planets form

First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.