Making headlines all over the solar system this week were the strange events unfolding on Mars. The Martian rover Opportunity this week received the freight of its life when a rock sneak up on it and sat quietly.
The events were noticed by earthbound scientists studying Opportunities surroundings during its winter hiatus. Stationary since September for the Martian winter scientists studying pictures taken 12 days apart noticed the appearance of a strange donut rock.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the most amazing out of this world images captured by humanities emissaries to other worlds, footage that will make you wonder. Sit back, relax and keep that tin foil hat handy, it could be getting busy on Mars.
Opportunity has been trundling around the rocky surface of the red planet for over 10 years now (landed January 24, 2004), exploring like the electronic scout that she is. Sheltering for the winter in the Endeavour Crater Opportunity wasn’t expecting any excitement, with her back to the Murray Ridge she settled in for the long wait.
Periodically Opportunity’s Earthly masters would wake the old girl to take a photo, checking her systems. One photo taken a week ago caught their attention, appearing like magic in front of Opportunity was a rock, a donut shaped rock.
Opportunity stretched out its robotic arms, sensors scanning the Martian donut. NASA scientists have reported that analysis of the rock has only deepened the mystery. The rock is unlike any other tested on Mars, with much higher Sulphur and Magnesium levels.
“It’s like nothing we ever seen before. It’s very high in sulfur, very high in magnesium, it has twice as much manganese than anything we’ve seen on Mars,” said Steve Squyres, the rover’s lead scientist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. “I don’t know what any of this means. We’re completely confused, we’re having a wonderful time.”
So far there are two leading theories regarding the source of the mysterious donut rock; it is debris from the impact of a small asteroid or it has simply been kicked up by the wheels during Opportunities last outing. Neither explanation is either very satisfying or particularly imaginative.
Here at Highpants we believe that Mars is in fact home to a race of Homer Simpsons who simply put the donut there to see if the robot was hungry. Or with slightly less probability is the possibility that many of the animals on Mars camouflage themselves as rocks?
The latest Mars mystery is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to strange sights on Mars. YouTube is literally bursting at the seems with the observations of many, observations of incredibly strange sights witnessed from millions of miles away.
Sightings of self propelling rocks have even been captured before, along with structures large and small, objects that appear to be scrap metal and even ducks and rabbits. One might even think that a hand crafted stone wall might suggest life once existed on Mars, but that’s a matter of perception apparently.
With unencumbered eyes the Mars rovers send back all that they see, images for us to interpret and fit into our understanding of the world. Does knowledge need to fit into the checker board pattern of our beliefs? Do we choose to see what we see or is the truth as obvious as the nose on your face?