NASA Rover Finds Mysterious ‘Stick-Like’ Fossils On Red Planet


Nasa triggered a wave of wild speculation on 3 January after unveiling an image of mysterious stick-like figures on Mars. The dark formations, which appear to be etched on rocks, were captured by the Curiosity rover on the Red Planet’s Vera Rubin Ridge. However, scientists don’t really know what these figures actually are.

NASA has found some strange looking objects on the surface of Mars. This thing was discovered by NASA’s Curiosity rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).  While investigating the phots sent by the curiosity rover, Barry DiGregorio, a researcher at the Bickingham Centre for Astrobiology, United Kingdom, detected some an unusual and a tiny thing on Mars landscape. Well, till now the scientists have not confirmed about what is that object but it is expected that, it could be trace fossils.

Barry said that, those strange looking things are quite similar to Ordovician trace fossils that he had found on Earth. Talking more about this, Ashwin Vasavada, scientists of NASA’s Jep Propulsion Laboratory, California sated that, this thing are very small. The width will be around one or two millimeters (0.04 to 0.08 inches) and around 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) long. These are really tiny.

Well, these things were first detected in black and white color form. Then to know more about it, later the scientists send the Curiosity rover with MAHLI to get its coloured pictures.

There are still some questions about these things, like are they related with geological or biological and they could be trace fossils. Trace fossils work as an evidence that many years back the place had sign of life. So if these are trace fossils, then life had existed on Mars many years back.

Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist at the Mars Institute and SETI in Mountain View, California said that the images are really made the team curious to know more. Lee informed, when he first looked at the thing he thought that as bioturbation. It is the process where living organisms in sediments can affect the structure of sediments. Like the formation of worm burrows. They once refilled with sediments, can fossilized and then by exposed by erosion, can lead to look like wiggly sticks. For now, it is just an assumption. The team need more data to make such claim, Lee said.

The scientists fund them angular in multiple dimensions. It may be some crystals in the rock or like crystal molds, Vasavada stated.   However, right now NASA is not planning to carry out space mission for this. Now the Curiosity scientist are trying to know more about this strange looking thing and also trying to identify what they depict. Vasavada said that, may be the Curiosity rover can identify if it is a process of crystallization or biological process.

The Curiosity’s MAHLI imagery, Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) are now investigating more about it. But it is quite difficult to know about the origin of such things by the Curiosity rover. The rover has been helped in many ways to NASA to solve some mysteries about Mars. So, for now it up to NASA whether it will take steps for it or not.


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