APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan 29)

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APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan 29)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:08 am

Image Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars

Explanation: What if a rock that looked like a jelly donut suddenly appeared on Mars? That's just what happened in front of the robotic Opportunity rover currently exploring the red planet. The unexpectedly placed rock, pictured above, was imaged recently by Opportunity after not appearing in other images taken as recently as twelve Martian days (sols) before. Given the intriguing mystery, the leading explanation is somewhat tame -- the rock was recently scattered by one of the rover's tires. Even so, the rock's unusual light tones surrounding a red interior created interest in its composition -- as well as causing it to be nicknamed Jelly Donut. A subsequent chemical analysis showed the rock has twice the abundance of manganese than any other rock yet examined -- an unexpected clue that doesn't yet fit into humanity's understanding of the Martian geologic history. Opportunity, just passing its 10-year anniversary on Mars, continues to explore the Murray Ridge section of the rim of 22-kilometer wide Endeavor Crater.

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Beyond » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:19 am

Twice the manganese of any other rock studied thus far, appears out of nowhere and is rather bowl shaped. And then there also seems to be a little something of a different color to the left of it, just barely in the picture, that seems to be of a different color than what's around it. Do they go together? Very curious indeed! Oh, as of now, the "tame" link is 404.
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Berliner Pfannkuchen

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:26 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner_%28pastry%29#John_F._Kennedy_urban_legend wrote: <<John F. Kennedy's words "Ich bin ein Berliner" are standard German for "I am a Berliner". Mentioned in Len Deighton's 1983 novel Berlin Game, an urban legend has it that due to his use of the indefinite article ein, Berliner is translated as "jelly doughnut", and that the population of Berlin was amused by the supposed mistake. The normal convention when stating a nationality or, for instance, saying one is from Berlin, would be to leave out the indefinite article ein.

However, Kennedy used the indefinite article here correctly to emphasize his relation to Berlin. Additionally, the word Berliner is not used in Berlin to refer to the Berliner Pfannkuchen. These are simply called Pfannkuchen there and therefore no one from Berlin would mistake Berliner for a pastry.>>

http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... 13#p218606
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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Guest » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:46 am

More likely to be a piece of the aging and decaying rover itself?

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:23 am

I too am curious about the extra bit of white stuff mentioned by Beyond, which I've circled in yellow, below.

But I also went looking for clues as to the path the rock(s) must have taken to get to where they are. I've drawn green rectangles around a spot that could possibly have been disturbed by moving rock(s). On second look, the area just above and to the right of the green rectangles in the images, also looks to have been disturbed.
Pinnacle_Island.jpg
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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by JohnD » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:24 am

Nice one, nitpicker! Especially the green marker area!

Will Oppo investigate the origin of this? By examining its tyre tracks?
And any other potentailly local source? Because, Watson, once you have eliminated all the possible explanations .........

John

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by rstevenson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:15 am

JohnD wrote:... Because, Watson, once you have eliminated all the possible explanations .........
You must conclude that Martians have a sense of humour.

Rob

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Chirag » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:36 pm

Why can't it just be debris from space?

Ed NROTC

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Ed NROTC » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:49 pm

There is another rock that has moved. If you look at the right-hand side (with the Jelly doughnut rock) and go straight up from the S about a third of the way to Jelly Doughnut, there is a group of three rocks aligned left-to-right. The middle rock is not there in the left-hand side picture; it might be below the right-hand most rock but it is hard to be sure of that.

TimGregg

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by TimGregg » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:19 pm

I'd say it's time for a blink comparator here. It might turn up either tread marks or the footprints of the natives leaving a peace offering.

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Acemellow » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:32 pm

This rock was there all along. Look at the before and after pictures. Look at the exact spot where the jelly donut rock is in the after picture look where the jelly donut hole is in particular. Now look to the before picture is. Do you see the jelly donut hole there? It's only filled with Martian soil. Also look at the highest features of the rock in the after picture. They are all also present in the before picture. The rover must have either hit the rock clearing the soil from it or somehow dusted it with a puff of air. Can anyone else see this? It's really bugging me this is such a mystery.

cat bus

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by cat bus » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:39 pm

"Suddenly appeared*? It is right there in the first picture, just under different angle and conditions.

Acemellow

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Acemellow » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:50 pm

cat bus wrote:"Suddenly appeared*? It is right there in the first picture, just under different angle and conditions.
Finally someone else sees this

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by BMAONE23 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:55 pm

In the place that the mystery rock sits, the first image contains a triangular shaped smattering of small pebbles which I believe is just that, small pebbles sitting on a large plate rock. In the later image, the new rock is sitting on top of the top pebbles in the triangular smattering but the bottom portion and some of the plate rock interior of the triangular area is still visible. The new rock is an intruder and not visible in the older image

Acemellow

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Acemellow » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:22 pm

Nitpicker wrote:I too am curious about the extra bit of white stuff mentioned by Beyond, which I've circled in yellow, below.

But I also went looking for clues as to the path the rock(s) must have taken to get to where they are. I've drawn green rectangles around a spot that could possibly have been disturbed by moving rock(s). On second look, the area just above and to the right of the green rectangles in the images, also looks to have been disturbed.
Pinnacle_Island.jpg

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by BDanielMayfield » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:58 pm

An optimist sees the doughnut, a pessimist sees the hole.
Opportunity has seen the doughnut, but now it must backtrack to find the hole, or the whole truth may never be known.
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Tszabeau

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Tszabeau » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:02 pm

It is Interesting how the object is, roughly, the same size and shape of the underlying triangle of cracks... sort of like it emerged from the cracks although, I doubt that it did. I also find the little hook shaped rock, which appears in both images but is most clear just above the 0 in the "after", to be interesting. It appears, to my eyes, to also be a bit "doughnut-ish".

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by BDanielMayfield » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:18 pm

Tszabeau wrote:It is Interesting how the object is, roughly, the same size and shape of the underlying triangle of cracks... sort of like it emerged from the cracks although, I doubt that it did. I also find the little hook shaped rock, which appears in both images but is most clear just above the 0 in the "after", to be interesting. It appears, to my eyes, to also be a bit "doughnut-ish".
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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:28 pm

Chirag wrote:Why can't it just be debris from space?
Fresh meteorites have an entirely different surface and different color characteristics. In fact, meteorites have been found on the surface by the rovers. But this isn't one of them.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by geckzilla » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:46 pm

Here's a blink back and forth. I masked off the areas which aren't covered by both images. You can see that some people have mistaken one rock for another. The "jelly donut" was certainly not there before. Not anywhere in the frame at all, that is. A darker rock was also added near the upper left edge and a rock near the bottom edge got dirty.

They are from different angles and this was the best I could do. Bear with me. :ssmile:
Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
...
donutbefore.jpg
donutafter.jpg
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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:49 pm


Why can't it just be a flaking piece from off a Hollywood sound-stage?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Practical_joke wrote:
<<While living in Paris in the 1920s, Waldo Peirce "made a gift of a very big turtle to the woman who was the concierge of his building". The woman doted on the turtle and lavished care on it. A few days later Peirce substituted a somewhat larger turtle for the original one. This continued for some time, with larger and larger turtles being surreptitiously introduced into the woman's apartment. The concierge was beside herself with happiness and displayed her miraculous turtle to the entire neighborhood. Peirce then began to sneak in and replace the turtle with smaller and smaller ones, to her bewildered distress. This was the storyline behind Esio Trot, by Roald Dahl.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Roland » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:18 pm

I favor the space the space debris idea. The composition is different than the surrounding materials. Meteors can easily shatter on impact and bounce away from the point of impact with the newly exposed surface not showing signs of atmospheric entry. Another possibility is that a larger rock exploded after going through repeated thermal cycles. I have seen this happen in the desert where I live.

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:29 pm

Roland wrote:I favor the space the space debris idea. The composition is different than the surrounding materials. Meteors can easily shatter on impact and bounce away from the point of impact with the newly exposed surface not showing signs of atmospheric entry. Another possibility is that a larger rock exploded after going through repeated thermal cycles. I have seen this happen in the desert where I live.
Manganese is fairly abundant on Mars, but is found in very low levels in meteorites. Aside from the morphological factors that argue against this being a meteorite, the composition does, as well.

While an exploding rock is presumably possible, Occam should guide us here, and a rock shifted by all the rolling around of the rover certainly is the most obvious and likely explanation.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by eltodesukane » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:35 pm

They should take a close-up picture. Why don't they?

Chirag

Re: APOD: Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars (2014 Jan

Post by Chirag » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:44 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Chirag wrote:Why can't it just be debris from space?
Fresh meteorites have an entirely different surface and different color characteristics. In fact, meteorites have been found on the surface by the rovers. But this isn't one of them.
Thanks alot. :)