NASA’s Perseverance rover continues to amaze us with its extraordinary ability to spot interesting objects on the Red Planet. The new photo really impressed NASA. On September 8, the rover captured a photo of a rock that looked very much like a ripe avocado cut in half. This unexpected discovery on Mars brought great joy and excitement among scientists and space enthusiasts.
Since Perseverance landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, the rover has traveled an impressive path, during which it flew around the Jezero crater in search of signs of ancient life. On its way, the rover encountered numerous intriguing shapes and structures on the surface of the Red Planet.
Among them stand out a couple of rocks that look like ripe avocados, captured in a recent photo. One of these rocks has a rounded shape and lies upside down in the foreground of the picture, while the other half has a visible hole in the center, which gives it a resemblance to a real avocado. The surface of the rock also has a rough texture resembling the peel of an avocado.
The image was taken using the Mastcam-Z camera on board the Perseverance rover. This camera has two parts located on a high mast resembling the head of a rover. The photo was taken on the 907th Martian day, known as Sol. Note that the day on Mars is slightly longer than Earth’s — about 24 hours and 40 minutes.
This unexpected find resembling an avocado was added to the collection of pictures of rocks of funny shapes discovered by Perseverance. Just a few months ago, in August, the rover lit up rocks that looked like a shark fin and a crab claw. And in June, our space researcher even noticed a doughnut-shaped rock with a hole in the center, which, according to scientists, may be the remains of a large meteorite that fell on Mars.
Game of imagination
These unusual finds that capture the imagination are examples of a phenomenon known as pareidolia. This phenomenon describes the tendency of the human brain to recognize familiar patterns and shapes in ordinary visual images. Even in the remote and lifeless cosmic landscape, our imagination finds something that reminds us of our earthly experience. But even when fantasy prevails over reality, space exploration on Mars remains an incredible source of new knowledge and impressions for our world.
Perseverance actively uses the Ingenuity Martian helicopter, which acts as a flying scout for the rover. Together, they study the 45-kilometer-wide Jezero crater, where a large lake and a river delta existed billions of years ago. One of the key tasks of this rover is to explore the ancient environment of Mars and collect samples that will be returned to Earth in the future and will help in solving the mysteries of the Red Planet.
Earlier we reported on how Curiosity found a duck-shaped rock on Mars.
According to Space
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