NASA Rover Spots Unreal Mars ‘Flower’ Formation

Thelasko shares a report from CNET: NASA's Curiosity rover snapped a gorgeous, delicate formation on Mars that looks like it could be a branching piece of ocean coral. It's not coral, but it's worth contemplating how we see familiar Earth objects in random shapes on Mars. The miniscule Martian sculpture invites poetic comparisons. It resembles a water droplet captured at the moment of explosion against a surface, or the tendrils of an anemone in a tide pool. The image comes from Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (Mahli) instrument, which NASA describes as "the rover's version of the magnifying hand lens that geologists usually carry with them into the field." So the formation in the image is quite small. Abigail Fraeman, a deputy project scientist for Curiosity, tweeted a helpful visual guide that compares the object with a US penny to give an approximate sense of the scale. Fraeman writes that the image "shows teeny, tiny delicate structures that formed by mineral precipitating from water."

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