There may be turmoil on Earth, but admiring the quiet tranquility of the exotic rocks on Mars can be a gentle escape. Especially when they resemble ordinary objects on Earth, like pancakes and drill bits.
Curiosity captured some perspectives of a smooth, shiny rock on November 3. It is a good partnership with other smaller rocks of similar luster.
The larger rock looks like a pancake, but keep in mind that these close-ups often make the small pebbles appear larger than they really are. (That̵7;s one reason why Not a robot leg.)
Scientists on Twitter shared and discussed some of the funny-shaped rocks Curiosity has seen in recent days. Planetary scientist Emily Lakdawalla retweeted a photo of the shiny rock along with a lovely tribute poem (inspired by Moana) about how it could be “smoothed out with sand”.
The rock – which observers think looks like melted chocolate ice cream – may have been a “fake” polished by the wind and sand. Mars has a plentiful supply of both.
Citizen scientist Kevin Gill, who came up with many, tweeted a collection of tiny boulders, one of which looks interestingly like a Phillips head drill thanks to the way its light turns off.
“Glad that Mars Curiosity found the Phillips head drill I lost a few months ago,” Gill joked. Image taken from photos of Curiosity from 30 October and taken by ChemCam tool up close.
According to a blog post updating rover on Wednesday, Curiosity is investigating an area with “ruined terrain”. “The main focus of the group is to document the texture, relationship and chemistry of the rocks we encounter,” writes planetary geologist Lucy Thompson of the University of New Brunswick.
We will soon have more Mars images to enjoy.It is already halfway over its journey to Mars with a scheduled landing in February 2021. It will settle in another part of the planet, but will certainly find some interesting rocks for us to explore in its adventures.
Although Mars is currently a pancake-free zone, it is a playground for human imagination and, a phenomenon called pareidolia.
With a company called Aleph Farms having pre-planned deliveries, the dream of the pancakes on Mars might one day come true. Don’t forget to pack maple syrup.