Opportunity Rover Finds More Little Martian Spheres

Posted on September 17, 2012

Martian Spheres Blueberries

Mars Opportunity rover took a photograph of little Martian spheres. The rover's microscopic imager took the image on September 6, 2012. The spheres, nicknamed "blueberries," were found on a 2.4-inch area on an outcrop called "Kirkwood" in the Cape York segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Individual spheres are up to one-eight inch in diameter. You can see a larger image of the "blueberries" here. NASA calls the spherules a geological puzzle.

Opportunity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., said in the announcement, "They seem to be crunchy on the outside, and softer in the middle. They are different in concentration. They are different in structure. They are different in composition. They are different in distribution. So, we have a wonderful geological puzzle in front of us. We have multiple working hypotheses, and we have no favorite hypothesis at this time. It's going to take a while to work this out, so the thing to do now is keep an open mind and let the rocks do the talking."

Opportunity also came across similar spherules (see here) at its landing site in April, 2004.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ USGS/Modesto Junior College