NASA solves 'doughnut rock' mystery

By Joy Perrone,

NASA has finally discovered the truth behind the rock bizarrely resembling a jelly doughnut spotted on Mars in early January.

Scientists were shocked when the rover Opportunity, which has been stationed on Mars for ten years, sent back pictures documenting the sudden appearance of a strange rock on the surface of Mars.

To the disappointment of alien enthusiasts who, according to CNET, sued NASA in the hopes of getting them to further investigate the mysterious shape, the real story behind the rock is far from exciting.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the small white object is simply a piece of a larger rock that was broken and then moved by the rover's wheel in January.

However, Opportunity's principal investigator Ray Arvidson says that the rock itself is unusual as it has "high levels of elements such as manganese and sulphur, suggesting these water-soluble ingredients were concentrated in the rock by the action of water," which may have been created recently or in the past.

The Opportunity rover was meant to complete its mission after just 90 days, but has surpassed all expectations and still continues to send data back to scientists on Earth. Opportunity, along with its companion rover, Spirit, are responsible for the recent discoveries of the possibility and existence of water on Mars.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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