Last month, Mars rover Opportunity discovered a jelly doughnut shaped rock on Mars. Since the discovery, this rock created a great mystery. But the good news is, NASA has solved the mystery of ‘Jelly Doughnut‘ shaped rock on Mars.
On December 26, 2013, Opportunity snapped some pictures around the “Murray Ridge.” At then, there was nothing except the Martian soil (see the above picture – left side). But interestingly, 13 days later – meaning on January 8, 2014, Opportunity discovered a Jelly Doughnut shaped mysterious rock (NASA named the rock as Pinnacle Island) at the same place (see the above picture – right side) after it had finished a short drive.
This apparently seemed that some kind of alien might have placed the rock there. But NASA simply said that Opportunity might have knocked the rock out of the ground, and it didn’t notice it at then, but noticed on January 8. Such an explanation of NASA poked self-described scientist Rhawn Joseph and he filed a lawsuit against NASA, mentioning that the agency was failed “to investigate alien life” properly.
In short time, this allegation upon NASA stirred the entire world, including Star Trek actor William Shanter. During a press conference, Shatner asked NASA mission controllers some questions about the strange Mars rock via Twitter.
However, NASA was trying to solve the mystery of this rock. Lately, NASA researchers have claimed that the rock mystery has finally been solved, as the Opportunity has sent back more images that show where the rock came from.
Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis has said in a statement, “Once we moved Opportunity a short distance, after inspecting Pinnacle Island, we could see directly uphill an overturned rock that has the same unusual appearance. We drove over it. We can see the track. That’s where Pinnacle Island came from.”
After examining the Pinnacle Island, NASA found that it consisted of high levels of elements such as manganese and sulfur which suggests that these water-soluble ingredients were concentrated in the rock by the action of water. Regarding this Arvidson said, “This may have happened just beneath the surface relatively recently. Or it may have happened deeper below ground longer ago and then, by serendipity, erosion stripped away material above it and made it accessible to our wheels.”