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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

'Before & After' Rocks

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, January 28, 2014/Categories: natural history, photography, space science

Mars has always been a mysterious place. It continues to offer surprises as the intrepid JPL rover, Opportunity, learned. The robot has now been rolling around the red planet for 10 years longer than its original three-month 'sell by date' and made a new discovery.

Opportunity photographed of the same spot at Endeavor Crater, twelve days apart, and a new donut-shaped rock had appeared in the later image. Chemical analysis showed that the rock contained more than twice the amount of manganese and ever analyzed on Mars. The reason is a so far mystery.

Endeavor Crater Image, Opportunity Rover (credit: JPL, NASA)

You never know what might show up on Mars. Maybe a little critter will be peering back at the camera at some point and that would really be a mystery!


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