mars-mystery-rock-opportunity-rover-fullMARS JIM RICErice mars 2

Top: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University/Arizona
State University

Bottom: Courtesy of Jim Rice/PSI

MARS JIM RICEThat odd object – dubbed Pinnacle Island — spotted by NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover continues to be perplexing.

More detective work is ahead explains James Rice, Senior Scientist for the Mars Exploration Rover Project, Geology Team Leader, at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona.

According to Rice, the rover scientists are still working the data and scratching their collective heads. The object of attention remains an enigma.

Stuart Island

The hope now is by rolling over to the “Stuart Island” area — and working that site over — the picture may become clearer.

Now on tap is roving over to a new work site, an area that has several interesting targets that will be investigated.

Stuart Island is roughly 80 centimeters from Pinnacle Island – and may be the source rock for the mystery find.

At that locale there is a nice size rock that’s ideal for using the rover’s rock abrasion tool. There is also some interest to analyze the soil in the area that the rover has kicked up, Rice says.

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