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Mystery rock appears on Mars rover image

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Peter B

Remember Mars's gravity is about 1/3 that of Earth. However far something might get flung on Earth, it'll travel further on Mars.

Having said that I await with...er...curiosity what theories are presented. I'm happy to admit I haven't a clue.

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Peter B

Could it be a bit of scrunched up insulation from the rover that worked its way loose?

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seeder

Could it be a bit of scrunched up insulation from the rover that worked its way loose?

Doubtful - as they say this:

"It obligingly turned upside down, so we're seeing a side that hasn't seen the Martian atmosphere in billions of years and there it is for us to investigate,"

and

"It's like nothing we've ever seen before," he said. "It's very high in sulphur, it's very high in magnesium, it's got twice as much manganese as we've ever seen in anything on Mars.

http://www.independe...re-9070323.html

.

Edited by seeder

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Subsonicjourno

the article says the rover hasn't moved in a month..therefore how could one of its wheels have moved the rock into shot?

Edited by Subsonicjourno

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toast

Here you go, this could be a key phrase "Opportunity rover hasn't moved in over a month as it awaits better weather". Photo taken on Jan 8th shows a rock that wasn't visible in previous images So it hasnt moved in a month? is that 'bang-goes-the-theory' for the wheels moving the rock into place? Mind you the article potentially covers this by saying "Another theory is that the rock previously got stuck in a rover wheel and finally fell into its current position" well, here are the 'Opportunities' wheels. Im not getting carried away at all... just trying to work stuff out

I don´t think that DM is right here because as per JPLs Opportunity Traverse Map Archive there was a movement of O. within the last 4 weeks:

SOL3528 // 16DEC2013 (click to enlarge):

MERB_Sol3507_1.jpg

http://marsrovers.na...B_Sol3507_1.jpg

SOL3540 // 09JAN2014:

MERB_Sol3540_1_br2.jpg

http://marsrovers.na...ty-sol3540.html

Also DM is taking mission SOL3536 into discussion but this mission is not related to the initial mission pics of SOL3540+3528.

I by myself do not think that the object was moved into focus by the wheels of O.

Edited by toast

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Hazzard

Only two options have so far been identified as the rock’s source: 1) The rover either “flipped” the object as it maneuvered or, 2) it landed there, right in front of the rover, after a nearby meteorite impact event. The impact ejecta theory, however, is the least likely of the two.

http://news.discovery.com/space/mystery-rock-appears-in-front-of-mars-rover-140117.htm

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Pericynthion

the article says the rover hasn't moved in a month..therefore how could one of its wheels have moved the rock into shot?

Opportunity made a turn to face in a new direction on sol 3540. The rock wasn't there on sol 3536, but was there on sol 3540 after the turn. The best guess right now is that one of the wheels snagged the rock during the turn and knocked it loose. Don't think of this as hitting a loose rock with a fast-moving vehicle. Think of pulling on a stuck rock until it suddenly pops loose.

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seeder
Pericynthion

how come then , there's no indication of such slide or jump? You can clearly see all the small rocks or grains existing in identical position in both pics. How then did it jumped over all these landing exactly where it seats now, even more without disturbing ll other small rocks around. ?

You're not looking closely enough. There are several disturbed pebbles and areas of soil that appear to trace a path back toward the rover. Here's a very rough before/after comparison. I've tried to eliminate most of the perspective shifts between the two images, but there are still quite a few distortions. Still, it's good enough to get a general feel for how things changed.

Sol 3528 - 3540 Comparison

Sol3528-3540Compare_zpsbf1967cc.gif

It looks to me like the Pinnacle Island rock entered from the lower left corner of this image. There's a pretty large divot in the soil right at the bottom of the image and sand has been scattered up onto that flat piece of bedrock. The rock then skidded/bounced across that bedrock, leaving another smaller disturbed area in the soil between the two flat areas of bedrock and knocking a couples pebbles out of the way.

If you look carefully at the flat bit of bedrock on which Pinnacle Island is resting, you'll see that several small pebbles have been scattered.

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toast

Opportunity made a turn to face in a new direction on sol 3540.

Is that an assumption of you that O did a turn or do you have a source for that maneuver?

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toast

You're not looking closely enough. There are several disturbed pebbles and areas of soil that appear to trace a path back toward the rover. Here's a very rough before/after comparison. I've tried to eliminate most of the perspective shifts between the two images, but there are still quite a few distortions. Still, it's good enough to get a general feel for how things changed.

Sol 3528 - 3540 Comparison

Sol3528-3540Compare_zpsbf1967cc.gif

It looks to me like the Pinnacle Island rock entered from the lower left corner of this image. There's a pretty large divot in the soil right at the bottom of the image and sand has been scattered up onto that flat piece of bedrock. The rock then skidded/bounced across that bedrock, leaving another smaller disturbed area in the soil between the two flat areas of bedrock and knocking a couples pebbles out of the way.

If you look carefully at the flat bit of bedrock on which Pinnacle Island is resting, you'll see that several small pebbles have been scattered.

That´s it! Good find!

Edited by toast

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Peter B

That´s it! Good find!

Agreed. Nice work.

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seeder

We can all speculate, but the only way we will get any answers is with further NASA releases. It'd be a real surprise if in a few days it vanished again wouldn't it? :lol:

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toast

And new stuff for the face-on-mars-fanclub. The lower left corner of the stone tips the faces forehead. BTW: this is the

first mars face with googles on. So aliens share our physical problems and the Roswell crash was caused by googles

left behind on NGC1961.

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toast

We can all speculate, but the only way we will get any answers is with further NASA releases. It'd be a real surprise if in a few days it vanished again wouldn't it? :lol:

Don´t laught but I decoded the pics references of SOL3528+3540 this morning with the target to find out if the object disappeared or appeared. But I had no luck.

Edited by toast

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Pericynthion

Is that an assumption of you that O did a turn or do you have a source for that maneuver?

Hi, Toast. Here's one source for the turn:

http://spacecoalitio...rs-rock-mystery

From the article:

Now James Rice, science team member of the Mars Exploration Rover Project and senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, has piped in on the mystery.

“By now you must have heard about the very unusual rock (Pinnacle Island) which just appeared before us at Cook Haven. There were many articles out with images showing a before and after from Sols 3528 and 3540 (12 sols),” Rice says.

“However, my new analysis shows that the appearance of Pinnacle Island can be further refined to have occurred between Sols 3536 and 3540 (only 4 sols),” Rice told this reporter.

Rice said that most likely the rover did it on Sol 3540 when it did a turn-in-place and bump. “We popped it out. But we are still trying to figure this out along with where it originally was located (I have a candidate divot) and then the bigger question: what is this rock?”

You can also verify the turn through the imagery. The sundial is imaged every sol, so you can watch for the terrain in the background to change to tell when the rover moved:

Sol 3538

1P442269461ESFCADPP2124L4M1.JPG

Sol 3539

1P442362791ESFCADPP2128L2M1.JPG

Sol 3540

1P442450544ESFCADPP2819L2M1.JPG

Sol 3541

1P442540817ESFCAEOP2111L2M1.JPG

The sol 3540 sundial images were taken about 40 minutes before the first images of the Pinnacle Island rock, so I assume the rover turned some time after taking the sundial images.

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Pericynthion

Don´t laught but I decoded the pics references of SOL3528+3540 this morning with the target to find out if the object disappeared or appeared. But I had no luck.

Oh, I wouldn't laugh. I did the same thing. :)

Here's an image from sol 3536 showing that Pinnacle Island wasn't there yet:

1P442097435EDNCADPP2264L5M1.JPG

source: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/p/3536/1P442097435EDNCADPP2264L5M1.JPG

  • Like 4

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DieChecker

You're not looking closely enough. There are several disturbed pebbles and areas of soil that appear to trace a path back toward the rover. Here's a very rough before/after comparison. I've tried to eliminate most of the perspective shifts between the two images, but there are still quite a few distortions. Still, it's good enough to get a general feel for how things changed.

Sol 3528 - 3540 Comparison

Sol3528-3540Compare_zpsbf1967cc.gif

It looks to me like the Pinnacle Island rock entered from the lower left corner of this image. There's a pretty large divot in the soil right at the bottom of the image and sand has been scattered up onto that flat piece of bedrock. The rock then skidded/bounced across that bedrock, leaving another smaller disturbed area in the soil between the two flat areas of bedrock and knocking a couples pebbles out of the way.

If you look carefully at the flat bit of bedrock on which Pinnacle Island is resting, you'll see that several small pebbles have been scattered.

That's really very good. It is easily possible to notice the differences and plot how the rock must have tumbled. Excellent work!

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DONTEATUS

I would love to see this entire area from behind the rovers point of view,Can you See the Kids tossin a little rock when the cam is pointed away from the Martians as they wal along with it and study it ?

But on a real note, The Guys at JPL are about to go Balistic it seems from all the actula data and mineral returns there getting ! A great fine in anyone book ! Cheers Guys& Gals

:tu: justDONTEATUS

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bison

NASA will have a press conference on Thursday, the 23rd, to mark the date of the Opportunity rover's 10th anniversary on Mars. The mysteriously appearing rock, and whatever has been learned about it by that time will doubtless be a prominent topic of that conference. It will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, (11 a.m. Pacific, 1900 GMT). It can be viewed live, and archived, at NASA TV.

http://www.nasa.gov/...v/#.Ut8Y3hyttqo

Edited by bison
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DONTEATUS

Good to See Peri back too !

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Ad hoc

Throwing stones at us. Must be a friendly greeting of some kind :)

Edited by Ad hoc
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Dark Howl

It doesn't look like a rock. It seems to be metallic and it might be a piece of a machine.

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toast

It doesn't look like a rock. It seems to be metallic and it might be a piece of a machine.

Check post #84

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Jeremiah65

It was a Martian Bigfoot....you know earth Sasquatch are huge rock throwers....prob just chucked a rock at the rover trying to scare it away...

:whistle:

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