Sept. 14, 2012: NASA's long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers.Spherical objects concentrated at an outcrop called Kirkwood on the western rim of Endeavour Crater differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules nicknamed "blueberries" the rover found at its landing site in early 2004.
"This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission," said Opportunity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "Kirkwood is chock full of a dense accumulation of these small spherical objects. Of course, we immediately thought of the blueberries, but this is something different. We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars."
Using its Microscopic Imager, Opportunity photographed these small spherical objects on Sept. 6, 2012. The view covers an area about 2.4 inches across at an outcrop called "Kirkwood" on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Larger image
Source: NASA Science News.
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