Mars Rover Finds Flower Embedded in Rock on Mars Surface [Photo]

Originally published: January 5, 2013
Updated: January 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm
By

This photo from the Mars rover Curiosity is a close-up of a transparent rock feature that some have dubbed a "flower."

This photo from the Mars rover Curiosity is a close-up of a transparent rock feature that some have dubbed a “flower.” A NASA spokesman has said it appears to be part of the rock.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems



NEW YORK (MorichesDaily) – New photos of Mars from NASA’s Curiosity rover have eagle-eyed space fans a flutter over an odd formation that some have dubbed a “flower” embedded in a Martian rock.

The so-called Mars “flower” photo was snapped on Dec. 19 by the microscope-like Mars Hand Lends Imager at the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm.

The image is a strange, apparently transparent formation that has Internet forum users claiming it looked much like a flower. It appears to be the pistils of a blooming flower on the planet’s surface in the picture zoomed back to Earth.

Curiosity has seen bits of clear plastic (pieces of the rover itself) on the surface of Mars before, but NASA officials said that doesn’t appear to be the case this time.

At this early stage, it’s impossible to tell exactly what the “fossil” is, but officials have already ruled out the possibility it’s debris fallen from the rover itself.

NASA spokesman Guy Webster stated that the anomaly “appears to be part of the rock, not debris from the spacecraft.”

NASA’s Curiosity rover also found a snake-like rock formation winding across the Red Planet’s surface.

According to Space.com, the rock itself named “snake rock” because of winding along above the flat rocks of the area is part of the land rover’s area of study as it makes its way to a mountain peak.

Scientists have named this mountain Mount Sharp.

They are choosing a point close by for Curiosity to begin drilling to test for proof of primitive microbial life.

The excitement over the Mars “flower” began when a user on the Above Top Secret forums highlighted an unusual, flower-like object in a snap of the Martian terrain. Alongside the rover’s snap of the “flower”, user Arken wrote:

“This amazing, extremely unusually looking translucent object on the Martian surface is the second one detected by the Rover Curiosity. […] The Albedo (or Reflectivity of Sun Light) of this object is very high, and its translucent appearance, the irregular conformation (like [the pistils of a flower]) and the “texture” of its wider areas is smooth, and seem that it is ground attached.”

Mars Flower Closup
Other forum users chipped in to suggest that the object may be quartz embedded in the rock, but Arken’s original comparison of the formation to the pistils of a flower seems to have stuck.

What do you think? Did Curiosity Find A Flower on Mars?

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