So, what the heck is this thing on Mars?
Well, what is this object right next to the Opportunity Rover? Browsing (like the geek I am) through the raw imagery
from mars, I noticed a small white spot - a bit smaller than a bowling ball, about 10-12 feet from the Rover - being focused on in a couple of frames (Stereo-wiggle image below left). Some more digging found a better-quality second look at it as well, from the most recent panorama (contrast-enhanced detail at right). The whole panorama shows it in more context (slice of that panorama below right, click
for full image). Oddly enough, this object does not appear to be present (or in the same place) in the Sol 1 panorama image here
- there is a small white spot, but it's location is shifted to the right quite a bit. The Opportunity Rover has now rolled onto the surface and appears to be
right next to (or on top of) this thing.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist - and am sure there's a logical explanation. It looks like either a crumpled piece of metal or paper (somewhat rigid), or maybe a broken piece of crystalline rock. I hate to say that it looks sort of like a small vertebra, but it does (to my eyes). My guess is that something broke off the rover/lander, or that it disturbed and knocked something into the crater with it. If you look at the stereo-wiggle image (left) you can even see some soil that looks recently disturbed. I would be really curious though, to know exactly what this is.
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