Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
‘Jelly doughnut’ rock on Mars suddenly appears
Pasadena, Calif. • NASA scientists are intrigued by a Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut that seemed to appear out of nowhere.
The Opportunity rover earlier this month took an image of the rock, which was white around the outside and dark red in the middle. It was not present in earlier images of the same spot.
Chief scientist Steve Squyres has a likely explanation. He said in a presentation last week that one of Opportunity's wheels probably kicked up the rock, which then slid into its field of view.
Early testing of the "jelly" part of the rock revealed characteristics unlike any other rock the rover has discovered during its decade on Mars. The rock is high in sulfur and magnesium, and scientists are still trying to figure out why.