Aliens Like Donuts

| February 6, 2014 | 0 Comments
mars-mystery-rock-opportunity-rover-full

The jelly donut on Mars. The left side of the photo is a still of an area a few days earlier before the still on the right. The jelly donut was moved from one place to another, supposedly by the rover Opportunity, revealing the underside of the rock.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ

The possibility of life elsewhere in the universe has stumped leading academics since the first UFO sighting in the Roman Republic way back in 214 BC. They are constantly bombarded with puzzling, seemingly unanswerable questions like,

“If aliens existed, where are they? Why have we not found them? Why have they not found us? Where did they come from? What do they look like? Where did we come from? Maybe they look like us? Maybe we look like them? Maybe we’re the aliens? So what does that make them? Woah! Woah?”

Clearly, there is a multitude of confusion about both the plausibility of extraterrestrial civilizations out there somewhere in the stars and the origin of human life on Earth. And the answers to these critical questions are not quite certain yet, although we are making headway with comprehensive research and scientific efforts. But, despite this evident black hole of uncertainty, we are sure of one thing. Aliens like donuts.

So aliens do exist! Not quite, let me explain.

Ten years ago NASA sent two robots to Mars to study the Martian landscape and answer the question as to whether or not water ever existed on the planet. A couple of weeks ago, one of the two rovers named Opportunity caught something on its camera that it had not seen in the area before: an overturned rock about the size of a jelly donut.

Now you may be saying to yourself, “So what? It’s a rock.”

Well, it’s not just any rock. It’s a jelly donut rock. An extremely astounding and potentially groundbreaking jelly donut rock. No one is one-hundred percent sure how the rock got there (they assume the rover made a turn-in-place movement and flipped the rock over) but further observation and analysis of the rock may provide much needed insight into the history of water on the surface of Mars. Think about it – the rock was flipped over, revealing a surface of Mars that may not have seen atmosphere in billions of years. You know scientists and engineers at NASA are getting to work now.

So even though it wasn’t an actual donut, although I like to think that it is, this single rock reveals to us the connection between opportunity and discovery. There are always things out there to be discovered and analyzed, whether they are under a rock in the garden, on the pages in a book, or billions of light-years away on Mars. You just need to create for yourself the chance, the opportunity, to get out there and find them.

 

Cover Photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

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Category: featured, Science and Technology

Andrew Lacqua

About the Author ()

One of four, Andrew likes to think that he's the coolest. After all, he's an avid long boarder and ukelele player, an ardent animal lover, and proud owner of a fish tank (he used to have five but then he had to go to college). When Andrew isn't busy watching Discovery Channel, flaunting his brightly colored beanies around campus, or pondering the mysteries of life, he's busy studying biology (his one true love). If this were a perfect world, Andrew would probably live in a hut in the rainforest with monkeys somewhere in Central America.

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