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Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:52 AM

Mars rover discovers mysterious 'blueberries'

Source: The Age (Australia)



NASA's Opportunity rover, older brother to the Curiosity rover that landed on Mars last month, has made a discovery that geologists find both puzzling and exciting, the US space agency says.
Opportunity, which has been on the Red Planet since 2004, has come across an outcrop of tiny spheres - up to around three millimetres in diameter - the likes of which scientists have never seen.

"This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission," said Opportunity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca.

"We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars."

At first glance, the researchers thought the objects resembled iron-rich spheres, nicknamed "blueberries", discovered near the Opportunity landing site.

Read more: http://theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/mars-rover-discovers-mysterious-blueberries-20120915-25ykn.html

41 replies, 7871 views

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply Mars rover discovers mysterious 'blueberries' (Original post)
Turborama Sep 2012 OP
Confusious Sep 2012 #1
Hubert Flottz Sep 2012 #3
Berlum Sep 2012 #6
tclambert Sep 2012 #8
Liberalynn Sep 2012 #14
dipsydoodle Sep 2012 #2
Tom_Foolery Sep 2012 #4
M_M Sep 2012 #5
Peace Patriot Sep 2012 #31
Honeycombe8 Sep 2012 #7
Sanity Claws Sep 2012 #9
Surya Gayatri Sep 2012 #10
d_r Sep 2012 #11
2on2u Sep 2012 #12
drm604 Sep 2012 #21
2on2u Sep 2012 #26
drm604 Sep 2012 #27
sofa king Sep 2012 #29
2on2u Sep 2012 #34
Rowdyboy Sep 2012 #39
greiner3 Sep 2012 #13
Kablooie Sep 2012 #15
meow2u3 Sep 2012 #16
valerief Sep 2012 #17
dotymed Sep 2012 #18
tabasco Sep 2012 #19
jsr Sep 2012 #20
LineLineNew Reply i
heaven05 Sep 2012 #22
jsr Sep 2012 #23
heaven05 Sep 2012 #24
heaven05 Sep 2012 #25
kestrel91316 Sep 2012 #28
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2012 #30
Myrina Sep 2012 #32
Posteritatis Sep 2012 #33
William Seger Sep 2012 #35
awoke_in_2003 Sep 2012 #36
piratefish08 Sep 2012 #37
L0oniX Sep 2012 #38
ThoughtCriminal Sep 2012 #40
LiberalEsto Sep 2012 #41

Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:53 AM

1. I'm not saying it's aliens,

But it's aliens.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:12 AM

3. Or their tracks?

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:28 AM

6. Alien scat

fer sure

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Response to Berlum (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:52 AM

8. Mars has rabbits!

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Response to Berlum (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:01 AM

14. They found Marvin the Martian's litter box

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:04 AM

2. off topic

Good to see you back again.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:17 AM

4. It looks like a herd of rabbits just hopped by! n/t

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:17 AM

5. Good

 

But I'm still waiting for one of the rovers to dig up Romney's tax returns.

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Response to M_M (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:54 PM

31. Dude, you don't understand. Those ARE Rmoney's tax returns!

First, he hung them on a laundry line in his backyard and shot them through and through with his high-powered hunting rifle with a cartridge the size of Utah, and with his tax returns shattered into a million bits of paper stuck to a thousand melted, distorted spent bullets, one of his agents stuffed the tax return pellets into Curiosity's rocket (some months ago) and they fell on Mars in random fashion when Curiosity was tethered down to its landing site. You can see them in a NASA photo with a magnifying glass as they fall into upper atmosphere. It was only the damnedst bit of luck yet, in the space program, that they landed near Opportunity's site, half way round Mars, and now look like blueberries. It'll be centuries before they develop the technology to reconstruct them and read them.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:38 AM

7. Oh...I was excited for a minute that they'd found blueberries. It was another rock.

I'm sure it represents something new, but it'd REALLY be something if they really had found blueberries.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:04 AM

9. Alien eggs

Go over easy when rolling on by.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:10 AM

10. Can muffins be far behind?

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:17 AM

11. damn kids

dropping their marbles

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:06 AM

12. They are not unique to mars so say

 

http://www.universetoday.com/9666/earth-has-blueberries-too/



Image credit: University of Utah
Even before marble-shaped pebbles nicknamed ?blueberries? were discovered on Mars by the Opportunity rover, University of Utah geologists studied similar rocks in Utah?s national parks and predicted such stones would be found on the Red Planet.

In a study published in the June 17 issue of the journal Nature, the Utah researchers suggest both the Martian and Utah rocks ? known as hematite concretions ? formed underground when minerals precipitated from flowing groundwater.

?We came up with the ?recipe? for blueberries,? says Marjorie Chan, chair and professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah. ?Before Opportunity landed, we thought there might be hematite concretions on Mars. That was based on our study of hematite-rich regions of southern Utah, where hematite balls are found in national parks and have long been a geological oddity that shows up in many rock shops.?

The round rocks are found in southern Utah in Zion and Capitol Reef national parks, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Snow Canyon State Park and the Moab area.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/9666/earth-has-blueberries-too/#ixzz26XVL0aFQ

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:03 AM

21. According to the OP's article the recent find is something different.

At first glance, the researchers thought the objects resembled iron-rich spheres, nicknamed "blueberries", discovered near the Opportunity landing site.

The so-called Martian blueberries are formed when minerals separate from water and become hard masses inside sedimentary blocks - they're part of the evidence Mars used to be wet.

But closer investigation revealed the new discoveries are "different in concentration. They are different in structure. They are different in composition. They are different in distribution," Squyres said.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #21)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 11:08 AM

26. Thank you for the clarification, didn't read the whole article. n/t

 

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #26)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 11:18 AM

27. You're welcome.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #21)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:01 PM

29. I have two guesses:

1) They are "iron rain," droplets of molten iron and silicon ejected from an enormous impact by an iron-rich asteroid. The droplets solidified after minutes or hours of falling back to the surface;

2) They are ooids, not quite like the CaCO2 ooids that form around shell fragments in our oceans, but formed in a similar way, which suggests large bodies of open water and regular wave action.

I should add that I have barely any idea what I'm talking about, but I cannot help guessing anyway.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #29)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:52 PM

34. Actually it sounds like you could make them if you had a stove and some other items.... you

 

sound like you know exactly what you are talking about. I think you give yourself too little credit on this one.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #29)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:32 PM

39. I agree with 2on2u...you may not know what you're talking about, but you sure fake it well....

I'd never even heard of ooids before. Damn, that is one FINE word for a Scrabble player to know!

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:26 AM

13. Left over;

Remnants of an ancient battle; via the use of phasers?

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:02 AM

15. They just found a piece of stucco. Boring. Move along.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:04 AM

16. Did these guys leave something behind?





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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:33 AM

17. Looks like my forehead when I was a teenager. nt

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:43 AM

18. It would be great to find

intelligent life anywhere.
Maybe even intelligent enough to govern by concensus...

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:49 AM

19. I bet that stuff would make some far out wine,

man.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:55 AM

20. Must be a lost cat from Kolob

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Response to jsr (Reply #20)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:15 AM

22. i

thought it was golob, it's kolob? I forgot . So much to remember. Magic underwear, golob/kolob, angel macaroni, how many wives j smith had , why granddad had to go to mexico. soooooo much, my head is going to explode. where are mitt-twits tax returns, why did I think america's racist-fascist-corporatist underbelly was gone. How stupid of me. So much to keep my eye on.

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #22)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:20 AM

23. Yes

It's Kolob. It's a glob in the sky someplace.

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Response to jsr (Reply #23)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:24 AM

24. ok

but I do resent them sending their globules here to insult my intelligence.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:26 AM

25. well

if the martians had any human traits, those globs are probably spent bullets.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 11:50 AM

28. Mars has goats?? Those look like nanny berries. No wonder there's no plant life.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:21 PM

30. I remember when they found orange soil on the moon.

It turned out to be orange glass from a fire fountain billions of years ago.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:03 PM

32. Mars has acne ... No wonder everyone left.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:21 PM

33. That Opportunity's still chugging along is amazing in and of itself. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #33)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 03:03 PM

35. Absolutely amazing

... and a great tribute to the scientific value of robotic explorers.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #33)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 03:43 PM

36. Yep...

hard to believe it has been going for eight years now.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 03:46 PM

37. FUCKING MONSANTO!

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 04:44 PM

38. Bunny doo doo!

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:47 PM

40. If there are marshmallow bits

I'm going with spilled "Boo Berry".

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:52 PM

41. These are the remains of the great Martian Chinese Checkers tournament

What else could they possibly be?

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