The Opportunity Nasa vehicle, an older brother of Curiosity robot that landed on Mars last month, made a new discovery that geologists consider both puzzling and exciting, the U.S. space agency announced friday.
Opportunity, which has been on the Red Planet since 2.004, met with a sighting of small spheres, about three millimeters in diameter, of a type that scientists had never seen before.
"This is one of the most extraordinary discovery of the entire mission," said the principal investigator of opportunity, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
"We had never seen so dense accumulation of spheres in an outcrop of rocks on Mars," the scientist said in a statement.
After a first glance, the researchers thought that the objects resembled iron-rich spheres, known as "blueberries" (blueberries), discovered near Opportunity's landing site.
These phenomena known as "Martian blueberries" are formed when minerals are separated from the water and become heavy masses within blocks of sediment, which may show that Mars was wet at some point.
But further investigation revealed that the findings are "different in concentration. They different in structure.
They are different in composition and different in distribution," said Squyres.
"It will take some time to discover, therefore, we have to do this and keep an open mind and let the rocks speak."
Opportunity found in outcrop areas called Kirkwood, Cape York in the segment of the west bank of the Endeavour crater.
While the initial mission of Opportunity completed more than eight years ago, the vehicle continued to work "bonus" since.
His colleague on Mars, the Spirit rover, launched in the summer of 2.003, he continued working until March 2.010.
The vehicle recently landed on Mars, Curiosity, is on a two-year mission to explore the Martian geology.
The robot of 2,500 million is currently in Gale crater, rolling slowly towards Mount Sharp.
The Opportunity Nasa vehicle, an older brother of Curiosity robot that landed on Mars last month, made a new discovery that geologists consider both puzzling and exciting, as the U.S. space agency announced on friday.