NASA’s Perseverance rover has been on Mars for a short while now. It landed efficiently in late February and spent an excellent chunk of March simply testing its varied programs and guaranteeing that every part was nonetheless in working order after its lengthy journey from Earth. Now, because the rover waits patiently for the tiny Mars helicopter Ingenuity to carry out its first flights, the science workforce is utilizing Perseverance to take a look at the rocks within the speedy space. One rock, specifically, has caught Perseverance’s eye, and NASA says its scientists are debating the place it got here from.

In a new tweet printed by the official Perseverance account on Twitter, the “rover” (talking within the first individual, as a result of NASA is dorky and superior like that) reveals that it shot the rock with a laser and continues to be making an attempt to study extra about it. The rock itself is somewhat fascinating in look, with massive pits dotting an in any other case easy floor.  What is it and the place did it come from? Your guess is seemingly pretty much as good as NASA’s.

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In the picture, which is extremely crisp because of the high-resolution cameras constructed into Perseverance, we are able to see the rock sitting on the Martian soil. The soil within the picture ranges in colour from a pale darkish brown to a lightweight tan, with smaller rocks scattered across the bigger object. The rock’s pits are caked with mud which blows throughout the floor of the planet year-round, however none of this helps to clarify its origins.

“While the helicopter is preparing, I can’t assist testing close by rocks,” the tweet reads. “This odd one has my science workforce buying and selling numerous hypotheses. It’s about 6 inches (15 cm) lengthy. If you look intently, you may spot the row of laser marks the place I zapped it to study extra.”

Those laser marks are seen in the midst of the rock close to the best facet of the picture. A collection of small dots might be seen should you zoom in, and people are the places the place the rover fired its laser in order that it may acquire knowledge associated to its composition. The rock seems fairly easy and even shiny in lots of areas, even though it’s been blasted by the mud that rolls throughout the planet’s floor. In a tweet reply, NASA says it has some theories.

“The workforce has formulated many various hypotheses about this one — is it one thing weathered out of the native bedrock? Is it a chunk of Mars plopped into the world from a far-flung influence occasion? Is it a meteorite? Or one thing else?” That might not be significantly satisfying for science followers, because it appears NASA continues to be making an attempt to provide you with an inventory of issues it is likely to be earlier than zeroing in on the more than likely clarification, however that’s the character of house exploration. Sometimes you simply can’t clarify what you discover.

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Mike Wehner has reported on expertise and video video games for the previous decade, overlaying breaking information and traits in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most just lately, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and numerous different net and print shops. His love of
reporting is second solely to his gaming habit.

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