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Stephen Wagner

"Mars Flower" continues to puzzle scientists

By January 17, 2013

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Mars flower

The latest curious discovery found by the Curiosity rover on Mars is an intriguing little formation that has been dubbed the "Mars flower" because it resembles the petals of a flower. The tiny translucent object is most likely a mineral formation of some kind, but some who imagine more "out-of-the-box" possibilities wonder if it could be the shell of some long-dead creature.

The NASA researchers continue to stress that is is not of biological origin, although I don't know how they can state that categorically without sampling it or analyzing it. That's not scientific and is typical of a mindset that already has its mind made up. "It cannot be of biological origin, therefore it isn't." You cannot say on one hand that you don't know what it is or what it is made of, but on the other state emphatically that it is not of biological origin. In truth, they don't know.

What NASA means to say, perhaps, is that is is most likely of mineral composition -- and it probably is. I agree with that. But that cannot be stated as fact without testing and analysis.

Comments

January 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm
(1) Howard says:

It’s probably either a gypsum flower or something very similar. Even though it would not be biological in origin, it would give an important clue about the presence of water in the past.

You’re right, of course — it is not accurate to say they know this not to be of biological origin. On the other hand, they’ve been issuing press releases for a long time. They know if they say it is “probably not of biological origin,” the first story to report on it is likely to say “may be of biological origin,” followed by a story “Has NASA Found Life on Mars?” Until they have some solid evidence to go on, they will want to keep the excitement under control and discourage speculation that so often ends up in disappointment and anger.

January 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm
(2) j.david says:

The thing has actually landed on mars, has it?, with pictures of rodents,jumping insects and other oddities,it makes you wonder,if it,s not a desert on earth somewhere

January 21, 2013 at 6:17 am
(3) alienbaba says:

oh its a sweet wrapper crumpled

January 27, 2013 at 1:54 am
(4) dineshaware says:

To,
Nasa Curiosity mission prject head

Sir,
Please take back curiosity to co-ordinates where this object was seen.Its judt few meters away… Instead of drilling rock for chemical composition , Analize flower like pearly object using drilling tools first. See if it has got chemical composition of natural pearl. If calcium carbonate is found its proof that its biwa or oval size or stick pearl in deformed form. This is proof tht water and pearl creating life existed on mars .
Allow me to visit to USA and NASA if I correct as reward.
Thank you.

April 18, 2013 at 11:17 am
(5) Penelope says:

i dont know why you guys pay taxes so they can spend in space travels while lying to you

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