NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, which has been exploring the surface of Mars since 2021 recently spotted a rocky donut that may have landed on the Martian surface from the sky. The most powerful rover currently operating on Mars rolled up to the rocky donut on Friday (June 23) to capture the big, dark stone with a unique hole within its center. The unique Mars rock has other similar-looking space rocks lying within the same region on Mars, making scientists assume that they came from a region beyond Mars.
SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Officials wrote a tweet on June 26, suggesting that the strange rock may be a large meteorite with its smaller pieces lying beside it.
“The donut rock could be a large meteorite alongside smaller pieces,” SETI officials tweeted.
The possibility of this assumption becoming real truly exist as the Perseverance rover earlier discovered a meteorite on Mars when it spent only a few weeks on the red planet in February 2021.
What NASA also Discovered on Mars rock
The recent discovery made by Perseverance is not the first time NASA is spotting a Mars rock on the red planet. NASA Curiosity rover has been exploring Mars since it landed on the red planet in August. The rover has discovered numerous space rocks to date. However, Curiosity’s discovery of a metallic rock dubbed Cacao in February 2023 remains one of its most fascinating discoveries of all time.
NASA’s Opportunity rover spotted a stone that appears white on its exteriors and red on its interiors in January 2014. That fascinating discovery inspired NASA officials to compare the strange stone to a jelly donut. Despite the discovery made by other NASA’s robotic rovers on the Red Planet, Perseverance is still making more fascinating findings to improve our knowledge about the Martian terrain.
The most powerful rover on the red planet has been moving around a 28-wide-mile (45 kilometers) Mars crater named Jezero. This crater was known to have hosted a massive large river delta billions of years ago. NASA purposely landed the rover in this region with the hope of finding evidence of ancient life and gathering dozens of Martian samples that will be returned to the Earth in the future.
In addition, the Perseverance rover touched down on the Martian surface in February 2021 with a tiny helicopter named Ingenuity. The Ingenuity is helping the car-sized rover achieve its exploration goals on Mars. Hence, the tiny helicopter has successfully accomplished 51 flights on the Martian terrain to date.
During these flights, Ingenuity covered about 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometers) of the Mars surface. Hence, with the sophisticated technologies of the Perseverance rover and other robotic vehicles operating on Mars, we should be expecting to make more fascinating scientific discoveries on the red planet.
Scientific discoveries of these Mars rock open a new door for more studies on the Martian terrain. Hence, if the newly spotted space rock actually fell from the sky, scientists will still need to study the rock more to know the impact of the Martian atmosphere on space rocks flying into Mars.