NASA news: What is & # 39; strange object & # 39; on Mars photographed by Curiosity rover? | Science News

The flat and rectangular object was photographed by NASA & # 39; s Curiosity rover on Mars on Monday 13 August.

NASA's scientists called the mysterious find the Pettegrove Point Foreign Object Debris (PPFOD), named after the location where it was found.

The internet quickly erupted with intense speculation about the origin of the object with theories ranging from space debris to evidence of UFO presence on Mars.

Scientists behind the Mars mission initially assumed that the PPFOD was a bizarre Mars stone or a piece of curiosity robber that had been broken down.

But online skeptics and conspiracy theorists rejected the suggestions and claimed that NASA was trying to hide the truth.

Many of those who saw the object were convinced that it seemed too symmetrical to be a natural rock formation.

Others kept a broken piece of the Curiosity rover, a too simple explanation of the space agency.

A Twitter user, @ rem_ack, tweette: "Part of another vessel?" This is striking and not convincing as a rock. "

Marty Q, @ mwh52, posted: "Just a stone cut by a tool, come on NASA do not treat us like fools, give a more intelligent response than that.

"Explain the process of how it was formed or something other than that it is a rock."

NASA has since analyzed the object with Curiosity's ChemCam RMI tool – a tool designed to remotely establish rock and soil identification.

As expected, the analysis found that the foreign object was no more than a very thin rock.

NASA & # 39; s Brittney Cooper said in a statement: "The planning day began with an interesting result from the ChemCam RMI analysis of the previous plan of a target that was referred to as" Pettegrove Point Foreign Object Debris ", and speculated that it was a piece of spaceship.

"In fact it turned out to be a very thin piece of rock, so we can all sleep peacefully tonight – Curiosity has not yet begun to lose its skin.

"Perhaps the target should have had a different name matching the theme of the current quadrilateral in which curiosity lives:" Rabhadh Cear, "or" false alarm "in the Scottish Gaelic. & # 39;

This is not the first time that a somewhat unusual rock formation or landscape function through eyes back on earth is misinterpreted as something completely different.

Last week NASA shared a joke with a photo taken at the Marian South Pole of a rock formation with a creepy resemblance to Beaker the Muppet, from The Muppet Show.

NASA presented the ironic photo as a classic example of a brain-tale known as pareidolia.

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see extraterrestrial faces and spacecraft on the photos of the moon and the red planet, where they do not exist.

NASA explained: "Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable forms in clouds, rock formations or otherwise unrelated objects or data."

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