We should ignore it
mainly because doing so will drive the usual conspiracy theorists insane, thereby providing much entertainment.
Image analysis of shots taken by the Curiosity rover's MastCam last month appears to have revealed a shiny metal object sticking out of a rock on the Martian surface. Italian imaging specialist Elisabetta Bonora was going over Curiosity's latest photographs and found the object in a set of pictures taken by the rover on …
Unless it's a manufactured object - or even a crystalised former life form, the shape of the base on / into the rock is circular and it's radiused from the base, up into the shaft, and then there is the handle (like) bar on top....
On a big brown shit hole, with rocks, dust and sand... it's very "non typical" in every respect - like shape, colour, design etc....
While it COULD be some kind of crystal, or fossilised sea anenome, or kelp root, which may be totally feasable, it also happens to look much like an older style safe door handle.
Already has. Surprised Reg took so long to dig it up. Been on some nut sites for a week.
Many strange things found, almost nothing is ever explained. I understand NASA can't run off every time something strange pops up, but hopefully this will make it on a list of things to check out. the rover cant be far away, it doesn't move fast.
Somewhere in cuckoo land, Richard Hoagland just wet himself.
I like the idea of it being a piece of a crashed probe (there's not exactly a shortage of them), with the rest of the wreckage just out of view over the apparent drop behind it. Rocks are fun, but let's do a little artifact hunting too!
Looks like a twisted bit of metal to me, as though it was a vein in a rock and the surrounding rock has been eroded by dust, which has kept the finish on the metal looking bright and nickel-like.
Which is kinda cool when you think how long the thing must have been sat there for that to happen.
And I for one welcome our bent metal overlords....
Doesn't this look like something that should be found in abundance, but apparently it is not. To me something like this would almost always be found in a scatter plot type of pattern, but just 1? It looks all too settled in to be any debris from anything we have passed up in space in the last 100 years, but it does look like it is just a shard. No aliens :-(
Out of curiosity, what is the protocol for giving a go ahead on using the bot's laser? If it fired upon something like this, how do you rule out an explosive ending?
"I have no idea what this is.... it doesn't look natural in formation.... Maybe this is alien made....But the sample would be needed go to Earth for confirmation on such matter."
Well, if someone with no qualifications in xeno-geology thinks it's worth launching another multi-billion dollar mission to bring it back because they think it might be made by aliens, that's good enough for me, and should be good enough for NASA, too.
"Guessing is useless I think in this case."
Yeah, where's a multi-ton robot tank, dripping with analysis tools, lasers and cameras when you need one, huh? That'd be dead handy right now!
Nice! Immediatly yoinked to my hard drive as the desktop background for my second monitor.
I guess I was wrong about there being a drop behind it, so it's probably not a large piece of wreckage from a probe. On the other hand, that object to its right is pretty darn weird too. I'm sure it's pareidolia, but it looks like a metal rabbit to me.
"the image covers the path taken by Curiosity."
The old track was some 65 meters away from the rover's position when the photo was taken.
The camera elevation was -8.85deg, so unless the mast is 10m tall the spot covered by the photo is much closer to the rover than the old track (something between 10 and 20m away, depending on how high the mast is).
Does anyone know if NASA has released a better resolution picture of the same spot from the left camera as well?
The one I've found so far is 500something by 400something. I've made a stereopair anyway and it clearly shows something sticking out of the rock, but because of the poor resolution you can't see what it is.
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"Eadon can reveal that the metallic looking object is an unwanted Win Phone 8. They are some on Mars, obviously because none have been bought on Earth..."
*sketches artefact outline and hurriedly sends it to the Patent Office*
Oh, snap! Whaddaya MEAN Apple already patented it!!???
The ARCO was "Larry's ARCO" back then, and still part of Atlantic Richfield, not a franchise. I can't remember Larry's last name, but I played a lot of Pinball at that station. In fact, I own the very Bally "Captain Fantastic" machine that I used to waste quarters on as a teenager ...
Have a homebrew, Compadre :-)
I was going to post something about it being a buried metal foot of a Martian robot or something...
And then I realised.
THOSE ARE PICTURES FROM ANOTHER FUCKING PLANET.
Sorry, still too impressed by the fact those rocks are not, actually, somewhere in Arizona but are sitting minding their own business on Mars.
Just too fucking impressive.
... if you don't send it back to investigate?
Failing that, it should have had a couple baby rovers on board that could be dispatched on an observation-only side mission like this. With today's technology we ought to be able to design something very small using inexpensive, off the shelf components that could do this.
"With today's technology we ought to be able to design something very small using inexpensive, off the shelf components that could do this."
Fag-packet maths says no.
Each 1kg of payload uses 180kg of fuel to get it to Mars, and it costs over $10,000 just to get 1kg into orbit. So even if you buy the bits at Maplin, it ain't going to be 'cheap'.
Then we strap the Maplin parts onto a rocket, fly it into space, expose it to vacuum, -270C and a bunch of radiation, then drop it onto a planet from orbit. Then we expose it to temperatures which swing between about 0C and -100C on a daily basis and blast it with sand-storms.
Yeah... should be fine! I
"It's about $200,000/kg to mars."
Sorry, I was using US figures.... If I plug in UK petrol prices, you're spot on!!!
Fag packet maths again, as curiosity (sic) gets the better of me:
Driving a Lotus Exige S to Mars in 2018 at highway speeds would cost $12,344 / £7,859 per kg at current UK fuel prices.
Consider me amazed that we don't yet have the first person perspectve of Amanfrommars1?
It seems to me that we would all be better served by his comments rather that our collective speculation. Perhaps he's a proponent of "What happens on Mars, Stays on Mars?
we need to send a manned mission to Mars. A couple of geologists/biologists/scientists turning over boulders, getting on their hand s and knees and chipping away at interesting rocks, wandering over to look at something that caught their eye...
I suspect that such a team would discover more about Mars in a couple hours of field work than all the Mars surface robotic missions have done, put together.
Agreed, the fact that there's a robot on Mars trundling around and sending pictures back to us is more astonishing and SF-like than anything the mystery object might turn out to be.
As iron metorite that melted on impact, was buried beneath the surface, and has been exposed by erosion, seems plausible.
Still, if you were making a SF film and wanted a prop for a martian like-form or a piece of alien technological junk, you couldn't have done much better that object that even if you had H. R. Giger design it...
As long as we will keep sending dumb robots to where humans are needed to do a proper job all we will get is yet more mysteries...
We found something blue-must be hematite! Or maybe not...
Yay, we found something white -must be ice! Or maybe not...
Look at that steel-headed lizard on sand dune! Too bad we'll never know what it really was...
The problem is that the people controlling the rover are only interested in the rover. There is almost zero interest in Mars. Just look at what they reguard as highlights - all to do with some aspect of the rovers function.
Then you get these very clever labels like 'martian flower' which appear to be designed to make any real investigation of interesting things laughable and to deflect actual reseach.
I spent about an hour looking at it and the immediately surrounding area. It is all quite fascinating. We have no real idea of what life on Mars may be like, but the surrounding area of this thing looks ruffed up, like a sleeping or feeding area. It is most definitely different from the rest of the surrounding rock surface. That type of thing is very common on earth and hunters look for similar areas when tracking prey. And it really does look like there is a neck of some sort holding up the object, and what appear to be root-like structures at the base. A super closeup reveals what could be an eye or some type of opening at the near end of the thing. I think NASA knows there is odd life on Mars and is breaking it to us in bite sized chunks so people don't absolutely freak out when they make the announcement. Is something that lives for millions of years and is made of mostly metals, and moves voluntarily considered life?
I also want to know what the thing is to the right and behind the item. With serious magnification, it looks like it has an open mouth at one end complete with teeth on the "lower jaw" . it is completely different from the rocks up the little chasm heading to the left. They are all pointed and worn and have no "teeth" or split like the "jaw" one. There is something very unusual about that whole scene. One other oddity. Just to the left and behind the "thing" it vaguely appears that there is dust in the air. It is very hard to see, but it is there. Is this thing alive somehow and was using what looks like an appendage to kick back some dirt to threaten Curiosity? Imagination combined with anthropomorphism, I know. But if it is dust, how did it happen? The more I look at the immediate surrounding area of the thing, the more it becomes a bit too suspect for comfort. If it were a crime scene, what could be determined? 1. There has been some type of activity around the item which changed the ground. The ledge in front and to the right could have been caused by wind over time, but the sharp edge is interesting and the area to the left of the edge sure looks like it has been laid in or flattened clean somehow. That area looks nothing like the surrounding rocks, so the question to ask is what kind of activity would cause it to be different? There are a lot of possibilities and some of them include activity from an entity of some sort, not just natural processes. Its all very interesting.
Last one, I swear. So, if I can see all that stuff and a little more from magnification, where is this image on NASA's site? Seriously, we could be looking at some type of Martian Crab or something, and NASA doesn't even have it on the site? WTF? If I can see that stuff, and ask questions about it, you know they can. Under magnification, there are two other anomalies - 1. The "appendage" that is hanging down on the left of the thing is not as clear or sharp as other areas of the photo. Is it in motion? 2. In the "thorax " area of the thing, to the right, there is an unusual curling of something and it is too smooth a curl and does not match the surrounding rock angles anywhere. Is this a matching appendage on the other side? The more I examine it, the more it could be a crab like entity and the area immediately around it could be its lair.
I'm totally serious here. This could be huge and they are brushing it off ??? Where are the official explanations of the questions from very easy observations? It's not a flippin nail !!! A nail can't depress and clear the ground in front of it.
The problem here is that you create, and then fall into, the same trap that catches all the 'disclosure' campaigners who want Obama to admit that the US knows about aliens.
They're not asking for the truth: they're asking for what they want to hear. And they've set up their position so that they won't ever have to accept that they're wrong: if Obama admits alien contact, they win (though even then I think it's be more accident than design). But if Obama doesn't 'fess up, they win anyway, because a refusal to admit it is obviously evidence of a cover-up.
You're doing the very same thing here. Speculation's one thing, and I'm happy to entertain ideas about Martian life - but the people you're challenging are scientists. They have to go by evidence. You're talking about what you can 'see', but you're presenting what's in the photo along with a hefty dose of interpretation based - from what I can see - on what you *want* the truth to be.
And then you imply conspiracy at NASA, saying they're "brushing it off". You're creating the same situation as the disclosure types: you've decided what you want, and if they fail to produce it, that's evidence of it. It's not rational because you've designed the argument so that you can't be shown to be wrong.
For what it's worth, I agree with those saying it needs people out there looking at these things, not probes and rovers, as cool as they are. But unlike some others, I don't think for one minute that'll ever happen - at least until someone finds a clear way to monetise Mars. Until then, we're just going to have to learn to live with mystery.
Wishful thinking, much?
"The more I look at the immediate surrounding area of the thing, the more it becomes a bit too suspect for comfort."
Well, you're the one with the geology PhD and a background in erosion and weather patterning on non-terran planets, so I'm going to have to assume that you've got it nailed, on the basis of one photo.
Can I interest you in a bridge?
I can take the heat and appreciate the response. I spent a lot of time last night going over the whole image at high magnification and there are some other areas that really need explanation. The rock formations in the lower left hand 1/8 of the image have some things that are very, very odd. I needed to increase the brightness to see them better. A chiseled rock with a shape inside the chiseled area is the most puzzling. Nature is odd, but it rarely leaves chisel marks around a smooth shaped item in a rock with uniform composition. This photo is either a fake or somethings been going on up there. Either way, it begs for more research and explanation. You do notice how they're focusing on the drill hole in the press right? While an image with some things that are inexplicable and may be one of the biggest things in human history are capturing the minds of others. "no, no don't look there, look over here, we're drilling a hole, see, how cool is that !"
"The rock formations in the lower left hand 1/8 of the image have some things that are very, very odd."
Maybe because they're on another planet with totally different erosion mechanics than ours?
Isn't that a better explanation than "It looks odd to a layman, so it's likely to be evidence of aliens, despite the fact that there is no other supporting evidence"?
"This photo is either a fake or somethings been going on up there."
Ok... so it's a fake and/or cover-up? So why release it? That makes no sense at all.
I'll keep going. In the center of the picture at the bottom, there are two rocks. One has two impressions in it at its top, the other has one towards its middle. There are few things that can make an indentation on a rock. Hollowing out doesn't just spontaneously happen. One way is dripping or running water from a source above the indentation, the other is grinding from some source. If those indentations are from water dripping from above it, this is very curious because there is no rock overhang. The rock is in the open. I find that interesting, especially when taken in the context that as Mars ran out of water the inhabitants would have to find ingenious ways to capture water to survive. If they were still primitive, hollowing out rocks a bit would work nicely. The rock to the right of the one with two indentations has an interesting one as well. There is a run -off channel visible below the indentation on that rock. Check out the two oval shaped items in the side of the runoff channel. One of them has ridges and the other does not. The one with ridges sure looks like a fossil to me. Think about it. They are oval in a smooth run off channel. Why are they there at all?
Further, between those two rocks you can see the surface through a small opening between the rocks. Why is the surface clean there when almost everything else has that reddish dust of varying thicknesses on it? Serious, how did that stay clean? You can clearly see the clean gravel and where it starts to get dirty. There are also several items in that picture that have polished ends of some sort. I work with Sapphire crystals from India at times and there are some similarities with them and I find that interesting. How did just one end get the shape it did? When everything around it is not that way at all. Also, when you increase the brightness, you can actually see under the overhangs of the rocks. That large gray-green one on the left is fascinating because the rocks under it are pointed and broken. Is that a recent lava flow or is it a blob or organisms like coral that eventually solidified. How did the bottom of the rock erode to form the overhang, but leave pointed, broken rocks underneath? There is no doubt it is very different from the rock around it and looks more like dough than rock and has some very interesting features.
That picture more than any other convinces me of two things- 1. there was water there - period. The evidence is plain to see. 2. It needs some serious investigation to explain the anomalies. I don't want swamp gas explanations, I want the real deal. Where did the chisel marks come from? How did those indentations get hollowed out? Are those fossils or not? Those and more are very valid questions and everybody with an interest in that picture should be demanding answers.
"I'll keep going."
I've absolutely no doubt you will. Richard Hoagland does. He continues to push his own Mars-related conspiracy theories despite the disproof of his central piece of 'evidence' - the so-called 'Face on Mars'. He's managed in the meantime to muddy so much water, and throw out so many claims in so many different directions, that he now has plenty of fodder to go at for the foreseeable future even without the 'Face'.
Just in case you think you're in a different category, the countless others still pushing their Mars conspiracies do precisely what you're doing here: they take an image or set of images, and they scour them for anything resembling some sort of familiar pattern. When they find it, they present it in breathless terms as 'evidence' of whatever it is they're trying to prove, just as you are here. And here, you rely on speculation, interpretation and question-begging: "Where did the chisel marks come from?", you ask - as though it's a given that what you claim to have seen are, in fact, chisel marks.
Like many of those other conspiracy theorists, you'd probably have a good shot at writing some interesting sci-fi scenarios, if you put your mind to it. You clearly have the imagination. It's just a shame that you choose to waste that creativity like this.
"Hollowing out doesn't just spontaneously happen."
I can think of two ways for that to have been eroded without recourse to water, on the basis of a mere passing familiarity with geology.
Why don't you stop staring at photos for nights on end hoping to see something that confirms your existing opinion and instead read up on some geology and papers on Mars erosion, so that you know what you're looking for.
"Is that a recent lava flow or is it a blob or organisms like coral that eventually solidified."
Those are your two explanations, despite the fact that no rocks examined to date on the planet are either recent lava or coral-like creatures? Seriously?
"I don't want swamp gas explanations"
Dude...you've just reeled off at least FOUR of those!
How about we leave it to the people who are qualified? Or do you genuinely believe that massively qualified people who have spent their life in the field are missing what you aren't, based on an hour looking at a photo, and that they are willingly covering things up *and yet still released a supposedly damning photograph*.
I agree. Is it a mere coincidence that the leader of the Catholic Church chooses this weekend to throw in the towel? The proof of life on other planets is now irrefutable, and all belief in humanity's special connection to God unsustainable. He's getting out before the mouth-breathers see these pics, look at all the donations they gave in church and then mumble "Hey, waitaminute..."
What really piques me are the roundish light-colored shapes on the top. Like shiny depressions. Small parabolic antennas?! Without them, I could easily agree it is something produced by weathering, but as it is, the picture makes the Twilight Zone theme play in my ears...
The least they could do is take more shots of the object after the rover has moved a bit, so we could get a stereoscopic view. The exact distance to and the size of the object could then be computed, and perhaps more details could be seen.
Haha.. But does it say "Video" on it like the Roswell debris?
also, why would a rock have a video port? Did the Martians have their version of the "Raspberry Pi" and some catastrophe struck without warning and wiped them out?
If it says "Made in Gargaravarg" on it, with a "CM" mark then it could have been caused by the Martians building really dangerous unobtainium power reactors which after a breach caused a chain reaction in the unobtainium rich soil and FOOON! Instant mass extinction.
My money's on this being nothing more important than a pair of handlebars from a Martian bog-trotter. Poor chap went in the mud a little too deep, got suck and abandoned it (Martians are rich enough not to care 'cause Mars is a tax haven even Vodafone are jealous of). The mud hardened and, eventually became the rock Curiosity is now driving over.
Yobbo's have since stripped them of the brake levers and switchgear. I wouldn't advise Curiosity to go back to examine it in detail; if those swines are still about, they'll nick the explorer's wheels for sure.
It's obviously a bent, metal robotic finger thrusting up through the Martian crust, signalling for help before it's power source faded as it was trapped in the cooling rock and sand. If we go over there, and cross connect Curiosities power source, perhaps we can jump start it....
I reckon it will turn out to be a shiny rock that got especially polished by duststorms and then happened to catch the light in the right way. You can sometimes see things that look like metal on a beach when the sun is at certain points, but when you get closer it's just a rock. Or, tarmac can look like water in the distance on a hot day... I don't claim to know the specifics but it'll be something mundane.
The software on ESA's Mars Express spacecraft is to be upgraded after nearly two decades, giving the orbiter capabilities to hunt for water beneath the planet and study its larger moon, Phobos.
Mars Express was launched on June 2, 2003, and was initially made up of two components: the Mars Express Orbiter and the Beagle 2 lander. Unfortunately, the lander failed to make contact with Earth after it was released and arrived at the surface of the Red Planet. It is presumed lost. The orbiter, however, is still working after 19 years in service, spinning around Mars.
Now, engineers at the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Italy, are revamping the spacecraft's software. The upgrade will allow the Mars Express Orbiter to continue searching for water locked beneath the Martian surface using its MARSIS radio-wave instrument and monitor the planet's closest satellite, Phobos, more efficiently. MARSIS is today operated by INAF and funded by the Italian Space Agency.
Pondering what services to switch off to keep your laptop going just that bit longer? NASA engineers can relate, having decided the Mars InSight lander will go out on a high: they plan to burn through the remaining power to keep the science flowing until the bitter end.
The InSight lander is in a precarious position regarding power. A build-up of dust has meant the spacecraft's solar panels are no longer generating anywhere near enough power to keep the batteries charged. The result is an automatic shutdown of the payload, although there is a chance InSight might still be able to keep communicating until the end of the year.
Almost all of InSight's instruments have already been powered down, but the seismometer remains active and able to detect seismic activity on Mars (such as Marsquakes.) The seismometer was expected to be active until the end of June, at which point it too would be shut-down in order to eke out the lander's dwindling supply of power just a little longer.
The Mars Ingenuity helicopter is in need of a patch to work around a failed sensor before another flight can be attempted.
The helicopter's inclinometer failed during a recommissioning effort ahead of the 29th flight. The sensor is critical as it will reposition the craft nearer to the Perseverance rover for communication purposes.
Although not required during flight, the inclinometer (which consists of two accelerometers) is used to measure gravity prior to spin-up and takeoff. "The direction of the sensed gravity is used to determine how Ingenuity is oriented relative to the downward direction," said Håvard Grip, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief pilot.
Video On Friday NASA released footage of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flying further and faster than ever before.
The film recorded during Ingenuity's 25th flight on April 8 when it flew 704 meters at up to 5.5 meters per second.
In the sped-up footage shown below, the vehicle climbs to 10 meters, heads southwest, accelerates to max speed in under three seconds, and flies over Martian sand ripples and rock fields before landing on relatively flat terrain.
The Martian InSight lander will no longer be able to function within months as dust continues to pile up on its solar panels, starving it of energy, NASA reported on Tuesday.
Launched from Earth in 2018, the six-metre-wide machine's mission was sent to study the Red Planet below its surface. InSight is armed with a range of instruments, including a robotic arm, seismometer, and a soil temperature sensor. Astronomers figured the data would help them understand how the rocky cores of planets in the Solar System formed and evolved over time.
"InSight has transformed our understanding of the interiors of rocky planets and set the stage for future missions," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. "We can apply what we've learned about Mars' inner structure to Earth, the Moon, Venus, and even rocky planets in other solar systems."
The long-lived Ingenuity helicopter has made contact with NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars after an unexpected communications blackout.
Ingenuity just passed the milestone of a year of operations on the Red Planet, after being designed for five experimental test flights over 30 Martian days during 2021. Thus far, the helicopter has managed to fly more than 4.2 miles in 28 sorties, proving NASA's reputation for over-engineering its space kit.
Ingenuity uses Perseverance as a base station to send data to and receive commands from Earth. Well, up until May 3, when communications between rover and helicopter dropped out. The problem? Dust, it turns out, which was stopping the helicopter from charging properly from its solar panels.
NASA has extended the mission of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter and given it the task of assisting the Perseverance rover, thanks to past and future software updates.
Ingenuity arrived on Mars in February 2021 along with the rover, and was expected to fly just a handful of times as a technology demonstration. The craft exceeded expectations and its mission was moved into an "operational demonstrations" phase. The craft's mission was then extended, and it has flown 21 times to date since its first foray in April 2021.
NASA has now extended its mission until at least September 2022.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has slammed the brakes on its ExoMars rover, Rosalind Franklin.
According to an ESA insider, the agency today agreed to suspend the mission at its ruling council meeting in Paris.
The joint ESA-Roscosmos Mars rover Rosalind Franklin is "very unlikely" to launch this year after Russia was hit with fresh economic sanctions for invading Ukraine.
Following a meeting with its 22 member states, the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday it was "fully implementing sanctions imposed on Russia."
"We deplore the human casualties and tragic consequences of the war in Ukraine. We are giving absolute priority to taking proper decisions, not only for the sake of our workforce involved in the programmes, but in full respect of our European values, which have always fundamentally shaped our approach to international cooperation," ESA said. "Regarding the ExoMars programme continuation, the sanctions and the wider context make a launch in 2022 very unlikely."
NASA has picked Lockheed Martin Space as the developer of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), one of the vehicles that will retrieve samples collected by the Perseverance rover on the Red Planet.
Perseverance is equipped with a drill and 43 sample tubes. Its mission plan calls for those tubes to be filled, then left on the Martian surface so that they can be retrieved and returned to Earth. The rover has collected six samples to date.
While the rover has merrily gone about its sample-collection business, much of the hardware for the Mars Sample Return Program remains on the drawing board. Until today, no contractor had even been appointed to build the rocket to lift the samples from Mars.
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