Perseverance’s laser hasn’t yet penetrated the mystery of a strange Martian rock near the rover’s new digs.
NASA’s rover is waiting for its companion, the Ingenuity helicopter, to make the first-ever powered flight on another planet. Meanwhile, its instruments targeted a greenish-looking rock on the Red Planet’s surface that has the science team “trading lots of hypotheses,” according to the rover’s Twitter feed — but please don’t pick aliens as one of them.
“Is it something weathered out of the local bedrock?,” a tweet the account posted on Wednesday (March 31) wondered. “Is it a piece of Mars plopped into the area from a far-flung impact event? Is it a meteorite? Or something else?”
“It’s about 6 inches (15 cm) long,” added the tweet. “If you look closely, you might spot the row of laser marks where I zapped it to learn more.”