Tags: fossils | mars | nasa rover | stick-like | figures

Fossils on Mars? NASA Rover Finds 'Stick-Like Figures'

Fossils on Mars? NASA Rover Finds 'Stick-Like Figures'

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity captured this image of tubular structures. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 January 2018 06:41 AM

Have fossils been found on Mars by NASA rover Curiosity's discovery of "stick-like figures" among rocks on the Red Planet's surface?

It’s not likely according to researchers from the space agency but that hasn’t stopped the questions, The Mirror reported.

NASA posted pictures of the rock in question on Twitter.

One scientist, Barry DiGregorio, a research fellow at the University of Buckingham, told The Mirror that the formations could contain "trace fossils," left by ancient burrowing creatures. "They look remarkably similar to Ordovician trace fossils I have studied and photographed here on Earth," DiGregorio said. "If not trace fossils, what other geological explanations will NASA come up with?" Others chimed in on social media.

Curiosity's mission team, though, told Space.com that the tubular structures were formed by crystal growth – probably.

"When we looked at these things close up, they're linear, but they're not tubular in the sense of being cylinders; they're actually quite angular," Ashwin Vasavada, a Curiosity mission team scientists with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told Space.com.

"They have kind of a square or a parallelogram sort of cross section and form at angles to each other when there's multiple of them together. And all of that's pretty reminiscent of crystalline growth."

The researchers believe the features are themselves crystals, or that crystals formed a mold in the rock that was later filled in by sedimentary material, leading to the theory that the area was wet a long time ago, Space.com said.

Curiosity has already discovered evidence of groundwater and an ancient lake-and-stream system on a crater floor and in a mountain's lower foothills, Space.com said.

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Have fossils been found on Mars by NASA rover Curiosity's discovery of "stick-like figures" among rocks on the Red Planet's surface?
fossils, mars, nasa rover, stick-like, figures
421
2018-41-10
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 06:41 AM
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