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More Details About Mars Mystery Rock

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the getting-to-the-bottom-of-things dept.

Mars 180

First time accepted submitter GPS Pilot writes "Previous reports said the rock that suddenly appeared out of nowhere was merely 'the size of a jelly doughnut.' Now, a color image shows additional reasons for this metaphor: 'It's white around the outside, in the middle there's kind of a low spot that's dark red,' said lead scientist Steve Squyres. In the image, the object does stick out like a sore thumb amidst the surrounding orange rocks and soil. Its composition is 'like nothing we've ever seen before. It's very high in sulfur, it's very high in magnesium, it's got twice as much manganese as we've ever seen in anything on Mars.'"

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180 comments

It's Aliens! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46017891)

.... See subject. I think the evidence speaks for itself.

Re:It's Aliens! (3, Funny)

sqorbit (3387991) | about 6 months ago | (#46017941)

Since it was a rock that must have been thrown in front of the camera it has to be alien bigfoot. Bigfoot is known for throwing rocks.

Re:It's Aliens! (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46018325)

The experts think the rock was "Tiddleywinked" by the rover's own wheels while turning or maneuvering on the ground.

One possible location where it might have come from is also pretty obvious when you get wider field photographs than the sensational press like so publish.

For instance, Compare this is a wider field shot of the ares BEFORE the appearance:

Pic 1: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/p/3528/1P441385599EFFCADPP2385R1M1.JPG [nasa.gov]

To a wider shot of the area AFTER the appearance.

Pic 2: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/p/3540/1P442453328EFFCAEFP2594R1M1.JPG [nasa.gov]

Notice that scuff mark in the lower left corner of the Pic 2, and find the same location in
Pic 1. (Its diagonally down and to the right of the "bald eagle head shot" in Pic 1.)

A little trench has been exposed, dirt turned over and some material is missing. A rock is clearly missing from this hole.
Could the rock have been un-Marsed from this hole by a wheel, and thrown that far, landing it upside down such that we see an un-weathered surface? Not saying for sure this is where it came from, (hole looks a little small), but a simple widefield view will probably reveal similar candidate sources.

I Hope JPL holds off on releasing any new imagery until the conspiracy nut jobs work their way into a screaming lather. The deflation is so much more fun that way,

Re:It's Aliens! (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46018365)

By the way, to get a better size perspective of the rock, check out this show from the front Hazcam:

http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/f/3540/1F442454318EFFCAEOP1214L0M1.JPG [nasa.gov]

You can easily see that this object could have been tossed by the wheels when you see the size comparison to the wheels.

Re:It's Aliens! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 6 months ago | (#46018779)

By the way, to get a better size perspective of the rock, check out this show from the front Hazcam:

http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/f/3540/1F442454318EFFCAEOP1214L0M1.JPG [nasa.gov]

You can easily see that this object could have been tossed by the wheels when you see the size comparison to the wheels.

All I can see in that picture is a shadow of and armless Johnny Five [google.com] from Short Circuit. How did he get on Mars, what happened to his arms, and why is he screwing with Opportunity?

Re:It's Aliens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018557)

You are very not funny. It's aliens and all us smart people know it. Denial of the obvious is for dullards.

Re:It's Aliens! (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 6 months ago | (#46018641)

I counter instead of getting kicked up, which would imply either getting caught in the tread or slippage in traction throwing the rock, the rock rolled inside the wheel well and got carried on the inside of the hub and rolled back out and into it's new mystical resting spot.

Re:It's Aliens! (2)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46018765)

Agreed. All reasonable assumptions.

One of the linked articles suggests they have analized the make up of the rock and find it quite different from the surrounding rocks, so some weight is given to the theory that it maybe it bounced in from impact, maybe miles away.

Re:It's Aliens! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018991)

That looks more like the rock impacted there then having been flung up.

Re:It's Aliens! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46019061)

Entirely possible, and its the leading alternate theory.

If that proves true, its firggin lucky the rover had moved away and then returned, because it would have been in the way, based on its position, the scuff position and the final resting place.

Re:It's Aliens! (2)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 6 months ago | (#46018757)

Could it be a "pop" rock?

Re:It's Aliens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018125)

I think the evidence speaks for itself.

The evidence? Like the rock? You mean now there's talking rocks, too? Oh GOD no, now they're going to revolt against us for all those rock-breaking chain gangs!

Re:It's Aliens! (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#46018459)

It may have been dropped by the Intergalactic Police when they checked up on the rover. Now we just have to keep a look out for Baby Fark McGee-zax. I hope we don't fail the test!

Re:It's Aliens! (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 months ago | (#46018545)

It's obviously the Illudium Q-36 space modulator.

Definitely (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46017913)

God baffles the scientist again!

Re:Definitely (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018119)

unlike you religious zealots the scientists will try and likely succeed at figuring out why/how etc instead of just accepting everything you don't understand as an act of god and not trying.

Re:Definitely (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018443)

God bless the atheists!

Re:Definitely (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 6 months ago | (#46018673)

The rover rolled over the rock, in doing so it flipped the rock up into one of the wheel wells, it rolled in the well as the rover moved forward until it rolled out and into it's new resting place. Mystery solved.

Re: Definitely (3, Insightful)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 6 months ago | (#46018509)

science baffles scientist,still.

waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46017949)

Martian Blue Ice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_ice_%28precipitation%29

ROCK LOBSTER! (2, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 6 months ago | (#46017957)

Maybe it's not a rock...

Re:ROCK LOBSTER! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018089)

Maybe it's a silicon based life-form. Just like mammals took over after the reptiles had their way on Earth, perhaps the carbon-based life died out and silicon based life arose. We're just too unfamiliar with silicon based life to recognize it.

Re:ROCK LOBSTER! (1)

Meyaht (2729603) | about 6 months ago | (#46018123)

Just don't light a fire on it's tongue.

Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

GPS Pilot (3683) | about 6 months ago | (#46017969)

Dr. Squyres said the object is "like nothing we've ever seen before."

The Mars rovers have examined thousands of rocks. If this were just some random rock kicked into position by one of the rover's wheels, it's highly improbable that it would also be "like nothing we've ever seen before."

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 6 months ago | (#46018027)

That's because it's not a rock. It's poop, from a rock creature similar to the one Capt. Kirk fired his phaser on (can't remember which episode it was)

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#46018237)

The Horta, from the episode 26, Devil in the Dark. Now, where are my 600 quatloos?

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018375)

I'd be more inclined to place it as an Excalbian, (Episode 22, The Savage Curtain). While this doesn't fit GP's requirement of having Kirk fire a phaser at it, the camouflage / illusions would better explain why it wasn't noticed before.

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 6 months ago | (#46018469)

I'm sure in the next reboot it'll all be the same, except the rock can travel thru time. Plus, I think you're both talking about Galaxy Quest.

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#46019043)

I don't think I can stand to watch Trek again until we get someone running the show who promises public flogging for any writer suggesting a time-travel plot.

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 6 months ago | (#46018691)

Dumbass you're thinking of Galaxy Quest.

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

BlewScreen (159261) | about 6 months ago | (#46018067)

But is it not a rock, or at a minimum, 'like a rock'? Have they never seen a rock before? Doesn't sound like they've been paying all that much attention to what that rover's been doing up there....

[haven't commented on /. in 5+ years - but I saw your sig and had to check mine to see if they were the same... then I figured I'd say something]

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 6 months ago | (#46018229)

But is it not a rock, or at a minimum, 'like a rock'?

Be careful there. Chevy will slap you with a copyright suit and impound your rover.

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018303)

"Like a rock" may have a trademark attached to it, but it isn't copyrighted.

Re: Fuel for the improbability drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018573)

It's definitely both, considering it's a pretty well-known song lyric.

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 6 months ago | (#46018729)

Oblig Red Planet quote
Made by God

Re:Fuel for the improbability drive (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 6 months ago | (#46018193)

My understanding is that they've never seen the underside of a Martian rock.

Another bad assumption (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46018011)

Almost everyone has assumed that if aliens ever show up that it would be a big show: "We come in peace. Take us to your leader" Or, if not that, then something like, "We've been here watching for decades | hundreds | thousands of years." I don't think anyone ever considers it possible that an alien presence would be revealed by a prank to be followed by the intergalactic equivalent of Nelson's "Ha ha! [youtube.com] " or "You guys are a hoot! You're our favorite 4D TV show!" Well, it beats being eaten.

Re:Another bad assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018441)

Humor is believed to be a distinctly human trait, though. The concept of observation and curiosity seems a bit more general, and has been observed in more species, so I suppose it's easier for us to imagine aliens observing us than laughing at us.

Of course, that assumes that all aliens would be generally like what we see here on Earth, which is already an incredible, incredible leap of logic.

Re:Another bad assumption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018535)

This is an actual transcript from the alien ship:

Xacno: "Igthorph, are you as bored as I am?"

Igthorp: "Frak yes, this Terran thing is going nowhere. Why are we still here?"

X: "Orders. Stay at Mars until Terrans leave or blow themselves up. I really was hoping they'd blow themselves up by now."

I: "Do the orders say anything about pranks?"

X: "Pranks? You know we can't do anything that'll get us discovered. Then we'll have to reverse time and we'll be here even longer."

I: "I have an idea. You have any of those strange rocks from our last mission? The ones our scientists haven't figured out yet?"

X: "Of course, we've got tons. Why?"

I: "Well, think they'd miss one? What if we drop one of those on the rover!"

X: "Come on, we can't be that obvious. I may as well reverse time now to forget this conversation."

I: "Okay, okay, but what we just drop one in front? They're watching that camera. What happens if a mysterious rock just shows up in front of it?"

X: "They would FREAK OUT! Yeah, let's do it. Let me beam one in."

I: "Haha, perfect! Make sure you turn on the news feed. I can't wait to see the reactions once they see this. "

Re:Another bad assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018931)

Another thing aliens might say (not exactly to us, but in our presence) upon first contact: "Whoa!! Aliens!" Followed by whatever stupid shit you hear humans ever saying, any time any of them think they just saw aliens. So some of them might follow that up with "kill! kill! kill!" or "I wonder what they're about to do to us," or "The bible didn't mention this, so therefore I know I must be hallucinating." Unfortunately, none of this will be in English. (Unless Star trek and Dr Who were right.)

Occam's (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 6 months ago | (#46018013)

Sometimes a rock is just a rock, could had ended there because winds, a chain reaction caused by the rover, even a small asteroid hitting the planet and spreading pebbles around is easier to happen than life forms moving it.

Re:Occam's (2)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46018159)

The Unmanned Space Flight forums have some better images than most you'll see on the standard snews sites. There are at least two rocks and some sand that has appeared in the image. That's on the uphill side of the rover, it's likely that this stuff rolled down the hill. What started it rolling is unknown, of course.

Post a link, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018213)

Post a link, please

Re:Post a link, please (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018461)

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=7708&st=345

These are some picture posted there:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=31925
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=31954

Re:Occam's (5, Informative)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46018431)

Link directly to the image. [unmannedspaceflight.com]

And to the forum thread. [unmannedspaceflight.com]
 

Storms (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#46018015)

With 1/3 the gravity of Earth I can see typical 80 mph winds carrying something as small as a doughnut

NASA says Mars' wind can't move rocks (5, Informative)

GPS Pilot (3683) | about 6 months ago | (#46018073)

The wind on Mars is not "strong" enough to move rocks on the surface. Even though winds on Mars can probably reach large speeds, the atmospheric density is so low, that the force the wind can impose on a rock is quite small. For instance, a wind of 10 meters per second (about 20 miles per hour) here on Earth produces a force which is four times stronger than does a 50 meter per second wind (a bit more than 100 miles per hour) on the surface of Mars. So, since a 20 mile per hour wind here on Earth does not generally move rocks about on the surface (though it does raise dust), the winds on Mars don't move rocks on the surface either.

Jim Murphy
Mars Pathfinder ASI/MET Science Team

Source: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/ask/atmosphere/Feel_of_Wind_on_Mars.txt [nasa.gov]

Re:NASA says Mars' wind can't move rocks (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 6 months ago | (#46018135)

but that low atmospheric density means that tens of tons of rocks from space every 24 hours don't burn up before striking the ground as the hundred tons per day on earth do (Mars is smaller target)

Re:NASA says Mars' wind can't move rocks (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 6 months ago | (#46018251)

Agreed, but in others cases there would also be the factors of rock density and Mars gravity to take into account.

Re:Storms (1)

TigerTime (626140) | about 6 months ago | (#46018143)

Mmmm. Doughnut storms. Sounds delicious.

Re: Storms (3, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 6 months ago | (#46018201)

The Martian atmosphere is about 0.6kPa, compared to Earth's 101kPa. It's just not dense enough to move anything more substantial than dust.

Re:Storms (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018575)

With 1/3 the gravity of Earth I can see typical 80 mph winds carrying something as small as a doughnut

Only 1/3 the gravity but the surface atmospheric density of Mars [nasa.gov] is only 1.6% that of Earth [nasa.gov] . By my back-of-the-envelope calculating that means it would take a 360 mph Martian wind to generate 1/3 the force of an 80 mph Earth wind acting on the same object.

damn. (2)

Frontier Owner (2616587) | about 6 months ago | (#46018047)

some poor martian is trying to figure out how to snatch his breakfast without the camera seeing him...

Re:damn. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46018287)

Or some dumbass Martian who nearly got the whole counter-surveillance team busted.

Goddammit Marvin, put the Illudium Q-36 away... they're onto us.

Anyone Know... (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 6 months ago | (#46018051)

It's very high in sulfur, it's very high in magnesium, it's got twice as much manganese as we've ever seen in anything on Mars.

How much magnesium/manganeese is in the metal the skycrane/parachute that delivered curiousity to mars was made out of?

Can't be Curiosity debris (1)

GPS Pilot (3683) | about 6 months ago | (#46018179)

How much magnesium/manganeese is in the metal the skycrane/parachute that delivered curiousity to mars

Doesn't matter, because the Curiosity rover, and the Opportunity rover that discovered this object, are on opposite sides of the planet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_rover#Image_map_of_Mars_landings [wikipedia.org]

Also, Opportunity has traveled 24 miles from its landing site. http://marsrover.nasa.gov/mission/status_opportunityAll.html [nasa.gov]

Mars is Boring (0, Troll)

glennrrr (592457) | about 6 months ago | (#46018061)

I understand that exploration of Mars is important, in that eventually our existence as a species will depend upon having colonies there. However, it's just a lifeless place right now. Any random acre of Nebraska is more interesting than what the Rover gets to see. It just boggles the mind how eager everyone is to go along with NASA's hype about the mission, to the point here of giving time here to the event of a rock getting popped up in the air by the Rover and landing upside down. If only I could get that kind of free marketing for my own endeavors.

Re:Mars is Boring (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018137)

If any of your endeavors involve a 54.6 million km journey through space I'm sure you'll get your share of free marketing too.

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46018165)

That's easy. Just do them on another planet and you'll get all the publicity that you could ever want!

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 6 months ago | (#46018167)

water on mars is not boring, nor would the discovery of microbal life

Re:Mars is Boring (-1, Flamebait)

glennrrr (592457) | about 6 months ago | (#46018191)

And have they found microbial life?

Re:Mars is Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018845)

And have they found microbial life?

The Viking labelled-release experiments thought so.

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 6 months ago | (#46018215)

that eventually our existence as a species will depend upon having colonies there

wrong.

the most inhospitable places on earth are like paradise compared to mars. conditions on earth would need to get much, much worse before we'd break even. the root of our problem here is scarce resources. that's not going to magically go away on mars. it's going to be much, much worse. growing food? can't just walk outside and plant something. you have to find water, that's frozen under the surface, thaw it, and pipe it to the sealed, heated, and completely environmentally controlled habitat. even the simplest things we take for granted on earth are a massive complicated task.

if we can't make it here, we aren't going to make it there.

Re:Mars is Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018313)

It's more about not putting all your eggs in one basket. An extinction event on Earth could wipe out our entire species. But, if we've managed to establish colonies off-planet then we might survive.

Re:Mars is Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018487)

It's more about not putting all your eggs in one basket. An extinction event on Earth could wipe out our entire species. But, if we've managed to establish colonies off-planet then we might survive.

An "extinction" event on earth still wouldn't wipe out all human life here. Again to quote gp, even then after the event, the most inhospitable places on earth are better than being on Mars.

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46018577)

An "extinction" event

wouldn't wipe out all human life here

Orly? Dictionary says otherwise.

Re:Mars is Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018895)

An "extinction" event on earth still wouldn't wipe out all human life here.

This must be some new meaning of "extinction" with which the rest of us are unfamiliar. Do tell.

Mind, the GP was talking about an extinction level event, not an "extinction" level event.

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 6 months ago | (#46018345)

I was referring to any problems of global catastrophe like the Earth being hit by a big rock, which will eventually happen. The long term survival of humans will require us to expand into the galaxy, presumably starting with Mars.

Re:Mars is Boring (2)

farble1670 (803356) | about 6 months ago | (#46018455)

if you meant mars, because it'd be a learning experience, then yes.

if you meant mars because it might be more hospitable than a future earth, then no. earth could be hit by a big rock and would still be far more hospitable than mars.

Re:Mars is Boring (0)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46018517)

I'm sure that's essentially what folks told my ancestors before they left Europe a century or two ago, with "unowned farmland" instead of "resource scarcity". Growing food? You have to find water, clear the land that's covered with trees, break the roots up, keep the animals out of the fields, keep the Mormons from stealing the harvest and the livestock, etc. Lots of people died, sometimes entire colonies were wiped out by starvation, weather, or irate native peoples. The lucky and hard-working survived, and that will happen in space as well.

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 6 months ago | (#46018543)

the most inhospitable places on earth are like paradise compared to mars.

I dunno, Mars [space.com] was pretty balmy compared to Chicago [dnainfo.com] the other day...

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 months ago | (#46018239)

The folks at NASA are remotely controlling a roving "SUV" on a planet millions of miles away from us in a scientific effort to learn more about the Universe and our surroundings. Does this impact day-to-day life *right now*? No, of course not. Is it incredibly cool and deserve a spot on Slashdot's home page? Definitely. Are your endeavors even close to this scale of technological achievement? (I'll be the first to admit that my own endeavors, while important to me, don't rise to the level of technical coolness that would make for an interesting Slashdot story.)

Re: Mars is Boring (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 6 months ago | (#46018787)

er,its not realy much of a high tech mission. how long ago was it built,launched when. if i remember right the realy high tech goes back to the 1990's tech,as in the compouters controlling it all are very old early apple mac type cpu's,hardly "high tech"now,the rest is just basic lightweight engineering,more high tech in my mates push bike,launch is still grunt brute force.so please,less of the "high tech" talk because it realy is not. its interesting(ish)very pricey,and will not tell or confirm one thing that could'nt have been done from an orbiter or from earth. i do not join the myth spreaders thatvwithoutvthe space race etc we would not have the tech we have now,there is as good an argument that we would be further advanced if such huge proportions of money,people,knowledge,and resources had not been used up/wasted on going any further than earth orbit and a couple of sats in solar orbits. study stuff that could be useful tomorrow instead of stuff that may become useful much longer term. i expect to get slagged down for my comments but that does not make the arguement wrong.

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

pla (258480) | about 6 months ago | (#46018283)

It just boggles the mind how eager everyone is to go along with NASA's hype about the mission, to the point here of giving time here to the event of a rock getting popped up in the air by the Rover and landing upside down.

In fairness, people got almost as excited by a tunnel boring machine in Seattle hitting a forgotten pipe.

From religion to aliens to ghost-hunters, people just want to find something that suggests that, in this mind-bogglingly large universe, our species doesn't count as the sole intelligence.

On the one hand, that would technically make us really quite special - Unique, even. On the other, it makes us special to nobody and nothing except ourselves. And our dogs, but I don't think they'll do any better than we will when our sun eventually goes nova.

So yeah, spooky rocks. I'll take obsessing about that, over going home and slowly drinking myself to death day after day for 40 years until society has no more use for my body and they let me "enjoy" my final arthritis-ridden decade.

Re:Mars is Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018317)

Why? Intelligent life returning to Nebraska?

Re:Mars is Boring (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46018357)

If only I could get that kind of free marketing for my own endeavors.

Once you are capable of sending robots to mars, we can talk.

Re: Mars is Boring (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 6 months ago | (#46018825)

ok.so you dont want to hear about his total cure for all cancers that only costs a dollar for a lifetimes protection. or his new class of electronics that the "experts" say is impossible. there is more to life than just space.

Holy Jesus! What is that? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018065)

What the fuck is that? WHAT IS THAT, PRIVATE PYLE?

Sir, a jelly doughnut, sir!

Re:Holy Jesus! What is that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018289)

"Ich bin ein Berliner" - First Contact

Ich bin ein Berliner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018187)

Since JFK started the space race, I wonder what he'd think of a jelly donut on Mars.

Yes, I realize what the real phrase in the subject means.

Crater Reject? (1)

rok3 (1133003) | about 6 months ago | (#46018243)

FTFA:
"The other is that there's a smoking hole in the ground somewhere nearby and this is a piece of crater reject."

I think the word they were looking for is ejecta...

Moving rock (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 months ago | (#46018259)

So this rock moved when we weren't looking at it... Do you realize what this means? It's a Weeping Angel! Get that rover out of there now! (But don't look away. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.)

Re:Moving rock (4, Funny)

Zordak (123132) | about 6 months ago | (#46018559)

No, it's their cousin species, the Weeping Jelly Doughnuts, who are much less of a menace to the universe. Instead of zapping you back in time 80 years and feeding on your residual potential, they zap you back in time to last Tuesday, where you eagerly devour an unwitting jelly doughnut that will now never get a chance to zap you back in time to last Tuesday, thus creating a paradox and canceling its own existence. There's a reason they're all but extinct.

It is a martian turd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018277)

All hail our new martian overlords

Martian cop ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46018355)

... was writing a parking ticket for Opportunity and dropped his donut.

rock (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 6 months ago | (#46018483)

aahhh. so THATS where i put that field sample that i lost.ooops.

Michael Valentine Smith (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about 6 months ago | (#46018547)

Just Michael Valentine Smith throwing rocks at the rover.

Cheers,
Dave

Kennedy did NOT claim to be a jelly doughnut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018597)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin_ein_Berliner

You'd have to be a American hating typical dumb American to further that idea. We know we aren't anti-American or dumb here....

Boy-racers at NASA (1)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 6 months ago | (#46018665)

Oh come on... we all know that the mission controllers got bored and told the rover to do a few donuts when nobody was looking!

Hell, you're hundreds of millions of miles from home -- there are no police -- who's going to give you a ticket for a bit of "sustained loss of traction" in the company's rover? :-)

Then.... bugger! Forgot about the camera! Duh!

Obvious (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 6 months ago | (#46018699)

I'll put my money on it's being a discus lost in the last Olympics when a female Russian threw one so hard it left the stadium.

But does it have.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46018763)

a face on it?

white on the outside, red in the middle... (1)

grep -v '.*' * (780312) | about 6 months ago | (#46018821)

the rock that suddenly appeared out of nowhere was merely 'the size of a jelly doughnut.'

Really? Hadn't anyone given thought to the fact that it might actually BE a strawberry jelly doughnut? So just what DOES a jelly doughnuts look like after months of hardened vacuum while bombarded by cosmic rays? I'm just glad it still wasn't in a "Krispy Kreme" wrapper.

I mean, come on -- the guys that build the rover are all geeks and nerds, right? Show me one of those who doesn't like doughnuts. Now they're stuck working in a clean room for hours and hours, with nothing to eat or drink. Wouldn't you get hungry after a while too? And realize these are smart guys who could easily bypass the security entry systems. Now, just imagine that someone stayed up late one night (like THAT'S inconceivable?), snuck in their snack like usual, but forgot about it.

Plus, can you imagine the conversation: Wally: Umm, boss, about that "rock" that fell off the rover's front fender; well, you see ... there's a back fender, too.

Take with a grain of salt (2)

TotalDisdain (1163803) | about 6 months ago | (#46018843)

News Alert. Authorities in California are raiding Justin Bieber's home looking for evidence through his security videos of him throwing rocks at the Mars Rover Opportunity.

fix the controversy (1)

jafac (1449) | about 6 months ago | (#46018867)

The only way to be absolutely sure that the rock was "flipped" by the wheel, is to run it over again (and again, and again) and see where it goes. I personally don't think it's likely. So it's either the result of vulcanism, or it's a meteor.

There are other rocks also (2, Insightful)

madhatter256 (443326) | about 6 months ago | (#46018915)

If you look in the photo provided by CNN in the article, look at the rock which casts a shadow near the top left corner of the photo.

That same rock is there in the newer photo with the donut-rock. Now, just look down a little bit and slight right you will see a darker spot that wasn't that dark in the earlier picture and it appears to cast a shadow. Therefore, there are more rocks (at least two) that weren't there before.

what a desolate place... (1)

steve.cri (2593117) | about 6 months ago | (#46019033)

... our solar neigbourhood turned out to be, so that all we need to get all excited is an unsual rock. With all of the endevaours to reach those places, starting with the Sputnik, I find them very exciting, just as I find the results very depressing.

It's Blair Witch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46019045)

Come on, nobody saw that coming?

Eureka! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46019065)

We've found Unobtainium!

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