A donut-sized rock suddenly appears in front of the Mars rover Opportunity.


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A donut-sized rock suddenly appears in front of the Mars rover Opportunity.

NASA announced the discovery of the rock at an event at Caltech in Pasadena this past Thursday night, dubbing the rock “Pinnacle Island.” “It’s about the size of a jelly doughnut,” NASA Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve Squyres told Discovery News. “It was a total surprise, we were like ‘wait a second, that wasn’t there before, it can’t be right. Oh my god! It wasn’t there before!’ We were absolutely startled.”

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11 comments

  • Stu Harris

    The loonies who call themselves “anomaly hunters” or “anomalists” aren’t going as nuts about this as I expected. It’s getting mentioned in the internet forums they inhabit but not with hysteria. And nobody’s accusing NASA of lying, which is MOST unusual.

  • Orion314

    My view is that , for once , NASA/JPL , et al, is actually being honest about this, a breath of fresh air…..honesty is not usually the first thing people associate with NASA…

  • Cotour

    Why would they lie?

    And, what typically do they tend to lie about?

  • Two words: ‘climate change’.

  • Orion314

    The list is vast , but I would have to place NASA/JPL’S mantra that Comets are “dirty snowballs” at the top of the list of most repeated lies…

  • Tom Billings

    So, Orion, just how inaccurate is that? They have water ice, CO2 ice, ammonia ice, methane ice, carbonaceous goop, some stuff like methyl cyanide, etc. A bit of silicates. Maybe some metal bits. That sounds like dirty ice to me.

  • Orion314

    If the only knowlege you have about comets is that which NASA/JPL tells you, then you know knothing at all…

  • Edward

    Just because they simplify the description for news-media consumption (reporters are all too often tech-illiterate, usually being English majors rather than science or engineering majors), does not make for a lie. I’m afraid that you will have to do better than that. You haven’t convinced me; I still believe most of what NASA says.

    I was certain you would have thought that manned moon landings were a lie (top of the list) or hoax. Or maybe Hanson’s claims, the jist of which I actually don’t believe.

  • Orion314

    As I posted elsewhere, NASA/JPL’S mantra that comets are dirty snowballs that come from the oort cloud/kuiper belt.
    Love to see some scientific proof of the existence of the oort cloud/kuiper belt.

  • The dirty snowball analogy is a good one and quite accurate. You should not complain about that.

    The Kuiper Belt is now well confirmed. It isn’t very crowded, but there is plenty of evidence now that there are a lot of small and large objects out beyond Neptune’s orbit. We are finding them, in large numbers. Thus, you are wrong if you claim there is no scientific proof about its existence.

    However, you are right about the Oort Cloud. There is no direct evidence for its existence, as yet. I myself have asked this question of several scientists and have gotten round-about hand-waving answers, which illustrates the lack of hard evidence, so far. The Oort Cloud is a theory that is reinforced by the approximate origin of many comets, but it is a theory nonetheless. At the moment we have no direct data from the cloud itself.

  • Edward

    Well, here is your evidence.
    http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=KBOs

    Both are defined by JPL as regions of space. By definition, they exist (unless you believe that the universe is not that large). JPL does not guarantee that there are oodles of objects there but does note that comets with periods greater than 200 years have apogees in the Oort cloud region.

    Could you please tell me which of the “facts” given by JPL are lies, and how we can know that they are? I’m still looking for vast list of NASA lies; it seems that there are only two topics of lies that you know about (dirty snowballs and climate-change/global-warming/global-wierding/whatever-the-euphemism-is-today, and I have to agree with you on the latter, NASA has joined the popularity bandwagon on this topic). Meanwhile, I will continue to trust and respect NASA on all topics, save climate change.

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