Zee Media Bureau
Washington: Researchers at NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have claimed to solve the mystery of a Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, which appeared in January in front of NASA`s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
"Once we moved Opportunity a short distance, after inspecting Pinnacle Island, we could see directly uphill an overturned rock that has the same unusual appearance," said Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St Louis. "We drove over it. We can see the track. That`s where Pinnacle Island came from."
The large piece of white-rimmed and red-centered rock dubbed as `Pinnacle Island` is about 1.5 inches wide.
After studying the rock, researchers revealed that high levels of elements such as manganese and sulfur, suggest that these water-soluble ingredients were concentrated in the rock by the action of water.
Opportunity landed on Mars on January 24, 2004 on what was to be a three-month mission, but instead the rover has lived beyond its prime mission and roved the planet for more than 10 years.
(With Agency inputs)