Friday, February 15, 2013

Martian Hood Ornament? Water Faucet? Or Something Entirely Different?

(from NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems, used w/o permission)
"A shiny-looking Martian rock is visible in this image taken by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) during the mission's 173rd Martian day, or sol (Jan. 30, 2013)...."

"Mars Rock Takes Unusual Form"
Guy Webster, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, via Mission News, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA (February 11, 2013)

"On Mars, as on Earth, sometimes things can take on an unusual appearance. A case in point is a shiny-looking rock seen in a recent image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.

"Some casual observers might see a resemblance to a car door handle, hood ornament or some other type of metallic object. To Ronald Sletten of the University of Washington, Seattle, a collaborator on Curiosity's science team, the object is an interesting study in how wind and the natural elements cause erosion and other effects on various types of rocks...."

The shiny thing looks like an old-fashioned water faucet handle to the Lemming. It would be very cool if the rock it's on was a trap door, and the thing actually was a handle: but what Guy Webster said about it is much more likely.

On the other hand, maybe Guy Webster is part of a conspiracy by shape-shifting space-alien lizard-men, the Illuminati, and Big Oil. The Lemming doesn't think so, and that's another topic. Topics. Not necessarily in this blog:
Appealing as cosmic conspiracies and all that may be, the Lemming prefers to apply Occam's razor, and that's - you guessed it - yet another topic.

Of course, maybe that shiny thing on Mars really is the handle of a water faucet, and looks like ones here on Earth because Home Depot is a front organization for imperial space wombats who have infiltrated Hollywood and plan to control our minds with genetically modified movie theater popcorn.


Or, not.

Getting back to Mars and reality, someone put together a five-page document, with lots of photos and a little text. It shows what wind can do to rocks:
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