The Sciences

Look at This: Opportunity Finds Mysterious Martian Bumps

80beatsBy Ashley P. TaylorSep 18, 2012 5:30 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Well, they're not blueberries. That's about as close as NASA comes to describing these bumps that the Opportunity rover has photographed from the Western rim of Mars' Endeavor Crater. In 2004, soon after the rover arrived on the Red Planet, it encountered iron rich orbs (nicknamed blueberries) in the Victoria Cater that scientists cite as evidence for water in Mars' past

. After a preliminary analysis, the researchers found that these new Martian goosebumps, each about 3 millimeters wide, have a very different composition

. In a press release

, Opportunity's principal investigator Steve Squyres described the newfound formations as "crunchy on the outside, and softer in the middle

" and said that they are considering multiple hypotheses about what these bumps might mean. For now, however, how they were formed---and what they might reveal---remains a mystery.

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ USGS/Modesto Junior College

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.