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Space & Astronomy

Mysterious object spotted on surface of Mars

By T.K. Randall
June 29, 2017 · Comment icon 33 comments

Is this a piece of debris, or something else ? Image Credit: NASA
A crystal clear photograph taken by the Opportunity rover shows an unidentified object sitting nearby.
The image, which was uploaded by the 13-year-old rover on March 17th, has generated something of a buzz online with Internet users discussing what the anomalous object could possibly be.

Unlike previous images of anomalous objects on Mars, this one is very clear and evidently not simply a case of pareidolia - the brain's natural tendency to see meaningful shapes in abstract patterns.
Situated on the Meridiani Planum region of Mars, the most likely explanation is that it is a piece of debris from the rover's own landing systems. According to users on Reddit, Opportunity was in fact known to have been taking photographs of its own debris at around that time.

It certainly makes more sense than some of the other weird objects eagle-eyed conspiracy theorists claim to have spotted on the surface of Mars over the last few years.

Source: | Comments (33)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 6 years ago
Its too late for that Martians. The Yankees are there to stay.
Comment icon #25 Posted by The_V_Spirit 6 years ago
I highly doubt it's a rock formation cuz there are no rocks around the area. Just stones and pebbles. Its surface also looks metallic and shiny. I don't know, i guess i'll stick to the debris story for now until something more promising shows up!
Comment icon #26 Posted by Astral Hillbilly 6 years ago
That looks like a 1968 Pontiac LeMans convertible to me !
Comment icon #27 Posted by Zamor 6 years ago
Well, seems there are not many of those left on these boards, been pretty harshly treated here I guess. Good or bad? I don't know, but kinda miss the guys who would enlarge pics like  this and have wild specualtions Now this article and comments about it is just uninteresting and boring, a couple of years back it would have been popcorn time    Zam  
Comment icon #28 Posted by minera 6 years ago
Bah its probably swamp gas or a weather baloon but then again its not on 'Mars' but probably some corner of the desert near area 51! Who are they trying to kid. After all those years of saying the population is imagining things now they want us to think otherwise?  Probably they are just trying to take the peoples hard earned money for the secret projects.  
Comment icon #29 Posted by jarjarbinks 6 years ago
Agree with you. I prefer the kind of people who will put out ideas and finally accept 'defeat' than people who are so closely minded that they would have refused the idea that the Earth was not a plate if they were born 500years before...
Comment icon #30 Posted by Dyna 6 years ago It's debris from the heat shield for Opportunity.  The rover arrived there Sol 324 and spent several days taking images of the debris.   
Comment icon #31 Posted by Dyna 6 years ago
I actually saw it completely proved somewhere but it was on so many sites not sure where it was debunked thoroughly but they did prove it..  
Comment icon #32 Posted by Astra. 6 years ago
So in a nut shell - you miss sitting back (whilst munching on popcorn) and watch others make gooses of themselves by believing that any unusual anomaly found on Mars is something fantastical, rather than it being a natural form of Mars terrain, or some obvious debris left over from an automated motor vehicle that NASA put there for the purpose of exploring ?.. Oh well, whatever floats your boat I guess    
Comment icon #33 Posted by Zamor 6 years ago
A lot more entertaining than this thread is now! If I want pure science I go to those kinda pages and forums. I liked it when "Unexplained mysteries" was more crazy and forgiving. Maybe I just appreciate people with a vivid imagination, I'm a pretty logical and boring person myself, that could be why I fell this way!   Zam  

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