Sunday, June 26, 2022

NASA’s Perseverance rover studies “streaks of bacon” on Mars

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On Thursday, NASA said the rover was crossing “the bacon strip,” a nickname for a region that had piqued the interest of scientists.

NASA’s Perseverance rover has been cruising the surface of Mars since landing on the planet on February 18, 2021, and the latest geological marvel explored by the robotic pioneer is exciting for geologists and could create breakfast food cravings.

The site was not inspired by the discovery of pigs on Mars, but rather by the way the area resembles a strip of bacon when viewed from space.

Since arriving at the site, NASA scientists have started dubbing the area “Hogwallow Flats” and is a geological jackpot.

The nearby rocks are a sight to behold‘ said the Rover’s Perseverance Twitter account, adding that it was a ‘rock nerd’s paradise’.

The cheeky Twitter account quipped, “My team is happy as pigs in mud (rock)!”

On their journey to the Martian bacon strip, NASA scientists also noticed something that seemed out of place.

Embedded in a crevice in the rock was a lustrous object unlike anything else in the otherworldly landscape.

Upon closer inspection, NASA determined that it was not a rock, but rather a piece of foil from Earth used during the ascension phase when Perseverance landed on Mars.

While it was easy to identify the object as a slide, it raised a burning question that may forever remain unanswered.

“My descent stage crashed about 2km away,” the rover’s Twitter account said. “Did this piece end up here afterwards or was it blown here by the wind?”

NASA’s Perseverance rover has taken and sent home over a quarter of a million photos of the surface of Mars since landing in 2021.

It’s also equipped with a small weather station so the robot can collect atmospheric data on Mars, including temperature, wind speed, humidity, and the amount of dust in the air.

On June 9, Perseverance reported a high temperature of 2 degrees below zero, followed by an overnight low of 113 degrees below zero. It’s late autumn where Perseverance resides, meaning even lower temperatures are just around the corner as winter approaches.

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