October 18th, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Mars rover spots shiny objects

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

As the rover Curiosity tries out more of its tools on Mars, surprises emerge on the Red Planet. After using the rover to scooping dirt, scientists saw something unexpected: small bright objects.

At first, they looked man-made and out of place, said John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory Project scientist and professor at California Institute of Technology, at a news briefing Thursday.

But upon closer examination, these 1-millimeter flecks – about the size of the granules in the soil – were not uniformly bright and didn't appear to have come from the rover.

"The majority of the science team felt that this might be something that is actually indigenous to Mars," he said.

There are two prevailing theories about what these flecks might be. One is that certain classes of minerals, when broken along a cleavage plane, would have a flat surface that reflects sunlight. Or perhaps they're part of a soil-forming process.

This is probably not connected to the object that Curiosity found last week, which NASA scientists believe was "a shred of plastic material, likely benign."

The images that the rover sends from this location will help scientists come up with more hypotheses about how this area was formed. They will eventually pick a rock for the rover to drill into.

"Beginning with some rocks we studied before the scooping began, and going on now for the several weeks in front of us, those images will help guide us and give the team options of what I’m starting to call tours," he said.

Curiosity is currently situated at the "promised land" of Glenelg , a site of particular scientific interest on the Red Planet because three different kinds of terrain exist there.

For a little over a week, the rover has been sitting at a place called Rocknest, where it has used its scoop three times to pick up Martian material. The rover threw away the first two samples because they were used for cleaning high-tech instruments. Curiosity inserted material from the third sample into an instrument called Chemistry & Mineralogy (CheMin), which will analyze the minerals of which the material is composed.

"The most important thing about our mobile laboratory is that it eats dirt," Grotzinger said.

The rover has been operating on Mars since its spectacular landing on August 6. After Glenelg, it will head to Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high mountain made of layers of sediment. Curiosity will examine these layers for organic molecules, evidence that life could have once existed there.

What we've done on Mars, and what's next

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • Mars
soundoff (595 Responses)
  1. Leisure suit Lary

    WOW, It amazes me how political nonsense works it's way into everything these days.

    "It's Obamas birth certificuit" no "it's Romney's hidden of shore fortune"

    Can't we just speak about the scientific marvel that this mission has been and leave politics out of something for once?

    October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • JeffinIL

      Mars is a red planet. The earth is blue. There's a solution here somewhere...

      Yeah. I know what you mean. It's not just science articles, it's all articles. The above was supposed to make you laugh, btw.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:25 am |
      • HorseWithNoName

        Crash them together and we get a purple planet. There aren't enough purple planets in the solar system anyway.

        October 19, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • Leisure suit Lary

        Okay ... that one was pretty funny!

        ... and it wasn't demeaning to either party or cantidate so it's unique too!

        October 19, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • GAW

      I agree this is what happens when you give a redneck a computer.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  2. cmorcat

    Now we're trashing mars?
    All together now,

    Litterbug, Litterbug
    shame on you
    look at the terrible things you do
    littering cluttering every place
    my but it's disgraceful.

    Litterbug, litterbug
    where's your pride
    making a mess of the countryside
    spoiling and soiling each lovely view
    shame oh shame on you.

    It really makes one wonder
    what kind of house you keep
    where on every tour
    the world is your personal garbage heap.

    You thoughtless litterbug
    litterbug don't you care?
    People must follow
    you everywhere
    spoiling and soiling each
    lovely view
    Shame Oh! Shame On You!"

    October 19, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  3. mike

    it's obamas birth certificate

    October 19, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • lbpaulina

      Shining like gold?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • seth

      ...and it says "Hawaii." You can wonder how it got there, but it exists!

      October 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  4. Nazxul

    When will Mars's land and resources go on the market?

    October 19, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  5. Tim

    Judging from the comments, this is why you should never plan a mission during an election year.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • lbpaulina

      Just at the end of the year, just at the end. For the first six months everybody eats, drinks and enjoys life without being concerned of any social political reality.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  6. JeffinIL

    Great. A probe with ADD.
    Calcium....Magnesium.....Sodium....OOOOh! Shiny!

    October 19, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Josh

      Don't forget that the probe likes to eat dirt too. Three scoop fulls so far.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • seth

        And it wears a helmet of sorts. Fortunately there are no windows to lick there, or it wouldn't even be doing much roving.

        October 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  7. bkerr

    ..."Nevertheless, no earth creature is going to contaminate my atmosphere."

    October 19, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • bkerr

      "...it's quite simple, I'm going to blow it up"

      October 19, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  8. Sean Z

    Why all the hate? Most be a lot of trolls prowling this site. 🙂 The fact that almost all of you on here are attacking one another and not actually opening your mind to the earth shattering events going on just proves how asleep our country is... Oo I'm sorry to report I think its just AMERICAN that is asleep. We are dragging down the process of our planet by staying addicted to JUNK and not being able to comprehend major change like this... If Honey Boo Boo was to tell you about this the whole country would know by this afternoon...

    October 19, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • lbpaulina

      You are not completely right: America is on Mars, despite someone's cynicism and lack of fantasy. People who have no more dream are dead (metaphorically.)

      October 19, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  9. GAW

    Looks like the trolls and jokers are having fun with this article.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  10. david paterno

    These could very well be machine parts. Mars was inhabited millions of years ago and has pictograms, statues like the Face on Mars and pyramids. These are parts of decayed machines that were left behind.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  11. Danie

    They need find something, ANYTHING, that will finally disprove all the baloney about Westernized fairy tales. Anything...you would think by the 21st century people would realize they have the wool pulled over their eyes...

    October 19, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  12. Skeptimist

    Those little shiny things could be microchips containing citations for misdemeanor offenses such as trespass, illegal parking, littering, etc. Watch for Curiosity to call home for a credit card number. Meanwhile, NSA has decoded transmissions from that vicinity: "The UFO has landed and is eating our planet."

    October 19, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • lbpaulina

      Funny and very creative.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  13. rudix

    all is preparation for the revelation that we are not alone .....slowly but surely, you can read it in THE DIMENSION MACHINE

    October 19, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    so little time - so much red dust to redistribute

    October 19, 2012 at 9:52 am |

    "feeling lucky punks?"

    October 19, 2012 at 9:50 am |

    see these eyes so green - i can stare for a thousand years - red dust in the wind - pop the can bro ray

    October 19, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  17. lbpaulina

    Amazing! I would like to see more robots collecting more and more samples. I'm dreaming a big space town on a planet similar to ours. It will probably happen in a remote future; all of us are killing the Earth and humans will need to migrate to new worlds. Let's hope that creatures of other planets are not going to impose too strict immigration laws.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Skeptimist

      Long-term human survival beyond the extremely narrow limits of Earth's biosphere is highly improbable and prohibitively expensive. Therefore, robotics is the indicated solution for efficient exploration. But there will be no human society capable of pursuing that if we do not direct more attention to exploring the consequences and correction of our failures as stewards of our children and the environment we leave them. Technical intelligence is a poor bet to outlive ethical stupidity.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  18. Stargazer

    Hello,does anyone else wonder why we just dont build a space ship i mean huge, we have resorces and technology, Make it happen, nasa stop wasting billions on stupid stuff like this, its a waste of time.i challenge a billioniar to make a campain to build a massive space ship funded by the people so we can travel long distances in space we can do it and they know it.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  19. DDM

    If gold is found by Rover, there will be a huge colony established on Mars in no time. A Martian gold rush.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • lbpaulina

      A new colonial era!!! But...hum. will they drink liquid gold?

      October 19, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • MT1962

      It will probably cost a billion dollars per pound for the Mars-sample return mission that NASA is planning, so don't expect that gold rush anytime soon.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:21 am |
      • seth

        Yeah, it ain't gonna be profitable to collect Martian gold any time soon. It'll take Romney at least 2-3 years to ruin the economy again, and then the price of Terran gold will exceed that of Martian gold.

        October 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

    "and you can take that to the bank" - blood red mars bank

    October 19, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  21. BJD

    Amazing how people can take something so fantastic in terms of human accomplishment and turn it into an ignorant stand for political bacon sandwich, but then again they just want to see their comments in print, one of the draw backs of social media.....our future marches on!

    October 19, 2012 at 9:44 am |

    more red here than on mars anyway

    October 19, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  23. Havildar

    Maybe this will help the do nothing congress to Jump start our manned space program for a landing on Mars in this century. Mar's provides an answer to this World's debt problem. Unlike America at the time of Columbus it seems Mars lacks a Human Population.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  24. Kmac499

    looks like a tooth–can't really determine a size–might just be some styrofoam left over from Roswell trip.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  25. Jerome Horowitz

    Great – bright shiny objects on another planet. Don't I have enough of them here on Earth distracting me?

    October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    carole king it's too late - both blue and red singing 🙂

    October 19, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  27. WhatNow

    I'm a science person, but I just can't help but say the first thing that popped into my head was the old pull-tabs from beer cans.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  28. shellback1

    Actually, those are rhinestones used by Romney for his magic underwear.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  29. MT1962

    "[T]he first two samples . . . were used for cleaning high-tech instruments." Is this the first time the human race has used Martian resources for anything other than direct testing? Using local materials for practical purposes will likely be the key to colonizing Mars says Zubrin and others. Maybe that first step has been taken.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  30. KindaSorta

    When I saw picture no. 4, I thought for a second it was a piece from a plastic shopping bag that had somehow blown all the way to mars!

    October 19, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  31. RICKO

    I love reading this stuff because I find some creative and funny comments. There must be stand up comics all over the world! What saddens me is that there just aren't enough comedy clubs to go around. If I had a comedy act, I'd use some of this material.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Jerome Horowitz

      Signed – Milton Berle

      October 19, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  32. GG

    It's clearly Unobtainium.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • WhatNow

      Love it.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  33. Bif Lipschitz

    One alien's crap is another man's treasure

    October 19, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  34. Ousamequin

    Trayvon's grill ?

    October 19, 2012 at 9:23 am |

    CNN MANAGEMENT: gone from trends i see - okay i got it - im just a smart nobody who believes it needs to come - thanx again 🙂

    October 19, 2012 at 9:22 am |

      may i hear piers say checkmate on election night? LMFAO

      October 19, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  36. bill

    It is gold. Estimated at 200 billion Tons

    October 19, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  37. Miller Barber

    You have to be kidding me CNN. With all the issues this country is facing and this is one of your top stories. Do you know how much money is wated on this while people go homeless and kids have no food. Forget the tax increases, forget cutting welfare, cut this waste and put it to good use.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Leisure suit Lary

      Bla, bla, bla ... lets forget about scientific discovery and advancement of mankind in general becausae there are some humans who are too lazy to provide for themselvs ... bla, bla, bla!!!

      Get a life Miller Barber!

      October 19, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • lbpaulina

      This is proof of some ignorance: scientific progress is the future. In a few years (let's say one/two hundred years) a large portion of the Earth population won't have food for the lack of water, and the next generations will have to explore new frontiers, and they will be other planets similar to ours.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • WhatNow

      Do you know how many lives have been saved over the years simply through discovers made during this very type of research. How do you think we ended up with most of our medical technologies? Space exploration brought us radio and computing technologies. It is through science that we progress.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Leisure suit Lary

      It amazes me how political nonsense works it's way into everything these days.

      "It's Obamas birth certificuit" no "it's Romney's hidden of shore fortune"

      Can't we just speak about the scientific marvel that this mission has been and leave politics out of something for once?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am |
      • seth

        ^^^^^ clearly a Taliban infiltrator attempting to distract from the important issues we face today.

        October 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Polly

        clearly a non-fake-taliban from non-israel that we see non-trolling all over the web, Seth....that is a filipino name i guess.....

        October 20, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  38. Kathryn

    I think it's an amazing find. Very exciting. So nice to read about something that's not connected to the election for a change.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  39. Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the Original Hinduism Source.......)

    let's see if Wall Street speculations lift economy out of recession !

    October 19, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  40. woodie

    They found gold in them thar hills.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  41. Liberal and Proud

    That shiny object must be Michele Bachmann's gold tooth. Lord only knows she has a big-enough mouth for it !! What's more, it is my understanding she applied for dual-citizenship, and the media stated Michele now has citizenship papers here in the USA and Switzerland. Well, I really do believe it's more like here in the USA and MARS...ROFLMAO

    October 19, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Miller Barber

      I love you liberals Attack the conservative and it is okay. How about I say it is part of Michelle Obama's fat butt is that funny? No! Get a life you loser.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:22 am |
      • kwhisperer

        How about both sides leave out such BS and stick to the subject matter at hand. Just a thought....

        October 19, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • FreeStateRacer


      October 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  42. Dennis

    Looks like Illudium Q-36

    October 19, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  43. CaesarXIII

    No need to get excited. It's just some Mcdonalds litter.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  44. flatpicker

    It's a tooth! it's evolution in action!

    October 19, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  45. Curious

    I'm really curious about phote 8. If there is no water on Mars, why are the tire tracks so compacted. I would assume if there is no water on Mars and the soil would be extemely dry and sandy and would not compact together so easily. Any explanations out there?

    October 19, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Think Again

      Pour some flour on the ground and step in it. You'll find your footprint in the dry, dusty material. The rover just makes a deeper imprint because it's much heavier and has more material to compress.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • jeepguy6

      Think again, the "Dry" flour you speak of holds a footprint because of the water vapor we have here on Earth.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Rick Shultz

      Curious, I will be happy to try to explain this if CNN will stop blocking my posts. We discovered this same phenomenon on the moon in the dust there. The grains have sharp edges and points in their contour which interlock with other dust and sand grains and cause them to stick together even in the absence of water. The grains don't get weathered and smoothed out the way they would on Earth because they are not exposed to water.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  46. Bill

    Considering its a stream that sure looks like a gold nugget to me. Where do I file my claim.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  47. JonathanL

    The first rock looks like a small pyramid. Is this the first sign of life? We know nothing about martians, or if they still exist. But they must have been tiny if this is one of their pyramids. Also, did anyone see the UFO in the upper right picture #51 and is it any coincidence that it is #51, (thinking of area 51?). Is this final proof staring right at us? All we need now are some foot prints, unless they are good at covering their footprints, or a family portrait, somewhere. Well at least, meanwhile, we know there is intelligent life on earth (I am proof of that)..

    October 19, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  48. Brad Neff

    I hope that they are not remnants of beer cans, like we find here on our beaches

    Tarpon Springs FL

    October 19, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  49. George Siciliano

    That's it then, we've totally run out of space to trash our own planet now we start on the other celestial bodies, sad!

    October 19, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Hey, I think that is my high school class ring.....

    October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  51. Frank

    Still hard to fathom we are looking at the surface of another planet! Its absolutely amazing..

    October 19, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  52. A

    I'm amazed how "shiny" automatically has so many people jumping to the conclusion that it's gold or diamond. My first thought was mica. Anyway, there are many, many materials that are shiny besides gold or diamond.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • seth

      ...but especially gold and diamond. hooray!

      October 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  53. John G.

    Those fleck are bone fragments and all that remains of poor Jimmy Hoffa. Government conspiracy and all that, FBI sent his remains to Mars on a rocket years ago...

    October 19, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  54. gpoli

    This looks like Los Angeles...

    October 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  55. francoisok

    Diamonds on my neck, d-diamonds on my grill
    Diamonds on my neck, d-diamonds on my grill

    October 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  56. Truefax

    Still no duck face, gj NASA.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  57. Henry

    Why doesn't CNN have their normal post of: "If your there send us your iphone pictures."?

    October 19, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  58. Buck

    Like everything else NASA and the Russians have been doing, this too is fake....


    October 19, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  59. bcp

    everyone should download Google Earth,,, then look at Mars,,,, water flow is obvious all over the planet,,,

    October 19, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  60. intdude@lycos.com

    Looks like Obama's missing gold tooth. I knew we had a reason for going out there!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  61. Yup

    it's jesus

    October 19, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  62. GO_GOP

    Hmm.. So that's where my tax payer $$$ are going. Unbelievable my $$$ are being used to dig up dirt in some obscure planet. This is what happens when you throw money at liberal scientists. This is outrageous to say the least.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Milky Pirate

      Could you maybe have another thought?

      October 19, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  63. Buck



    October 19, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  64. tet1953

    Clearly it is part of a wrapper from a York Peppermint Patty. Not surprising, since it was shot in the New Mexico desert.

    I kid! I kid!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  65. PO

    Dang it! I told ET not to throw his gum wrappers on the ground. Now who's going to clean up that mess.
    Maybe we should clean up the mess here before we look at other places to mess up, do ya think?

    October 19, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  66. johnny


    Instant justification for the project.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  67. Jimh77

    It's Gold boys! Send up the excavation and miniing teams now!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  68. EVN

    If all of the people who post their "witty" comments on articles like this actually vote it explains alot.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Milky Pirate

      Maybe you should get a sense of humor.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • johnny


      Don't you mean sh_____?

      October 19, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  69. Doc W

    Can someone please flip the pyramid rock over? Didn't anyone notice the layer of different material on the base?

    October 19, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  70. Ousamequin

    Trayvon's grill

    October 19, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    BO talking abort at mars while MR and BC give women what they really want LOL

    October 19, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  72. glades2

    $2.6 Billion to find pyrite???

    October 19, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  73. baw

    All these worlds are yours except Europa..

    October 19, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  74. Milky Pirate

    II wonder if it is another vault key?

    October 19, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  75. Mikey

    The Jews will be there in a year.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • glades2


      October 19, 2012 at 8:27 am |
      • glades2

        I-dot = dunce...

        October 19, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  76. Johnny 5

    The comments on here explain as to why the U.S. is ranked 14th in science literacy. How embarrassing we've become as a nation. You can take the bench but i'm not going to.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • sad

      sadly, 17th

      October 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  77. b

    Lol, so we've actually landed how many devices/robots on mars, and we're already finding human garbage and plastic left behind? We don't waste any time do we. Priority 1: find evidence of life; Priority 2: pollute if possible

    October 19, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  78. 2tor

    Find a penny, pick it up...

    October 19, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  79. Martian

    Looks my SIM card from my cell phone!!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  80. Old49er

    Boy oh boy, just let it be gold. I'll be on the next rocket ship outta here.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  81. Norm

    Rover has been shedding trash since it got there.
    No matter where mankind goes in the universe, you can be sure a wave of garbage will follow behind.
    Its just our nature.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  82. GO_GOP

    Hmm.. So that's where my tax payer $$$ are going. Unbelievable my $$$ are being used to dig up dirt in some obscure planet. This is what happens when you throw money at liberal scientists. This is outrageous.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Norm

      You dropped out of high school at 16 didn't you.
      Probably went into the army or went to work at the local gas station.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:18 am |
      • Milky Pirate

        Too funny.

        October 19, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • ldlorenz

      Wow! you sound EXACTLY like my ancestors who opposed Columbus's voyage to the New World! Bravo!

      October 19, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  83. 2a godim


    October 19, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  84. vance odonnell

    it is garbage..we have left our mark

    October 19, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  85. Jeff

    And..they even found a piece of debris that was later determined to be part of a wrapper from In and Out Burger.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  86. cpc65

    NASA has withheld the photo showing an uncovered old pull tab from a can of Schlitz.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  87. jjjj

    My gold bullion!! I knew I left that peice somewhere!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  88. cpc65

    "Get your a** to Mars!"

    October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  89. Franky

    oh come on, First we polluted earth, now we are polluting mars too. .. oh mars is dead anyway!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  90. And the Moon be Still as Bright

    The Martian race built itself for a million years, refined itself, erected cities like those out there, did everything it could to give itself respect and beauty, and then it died. Part of it died slowly, in its own time, before our age, with dignity. But the rest!

    But does the rest of Mars die of a disease with a fine name or a terrifying name or a majestic name? No, in the name of all that's holy, it has to be chicken pox, a child's disease, a disease that doesn't even kill children on Earth! It's not right and it's not fair. It's like saying the Greeks died of mumps, or the proud Romans died on their beautiful hills of athlete's foot! If only we'd given the Martians time to arrange their death robes, lie down, look fit, and think up some other excuse for dying. It can't be a dirty, silly thing like chicken pox.

    It doesn't fit the architecture; it doesn't fit this entire world!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Milky Pirate

      God bless you Ray Bradbury!

      October 19, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  91. Frank

    Sadly these small fragments are all thats left of Optimus Prime, following his annihilation by the Decepticons.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  92. Offshoring

    This is where Romney is hiding his money....this looks like some of Romney's pirate treasure from plundering companies.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Nedom

      Soon, employment opportunties will be available on Mars. Maybe minimum wage. No bendfits.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:15 am |
      • Havildar

        Plenty of benefits You are on Mars. Earth's money is useless just like the off shore accounts on this planet.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • joels2000

        Not if the GOP have their way. They will go from sending jobs overseas to sending jobs overspace. Soon, the GOP will have sweatshops filled with zetas.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:54 am |
      • Azezel

        Earth wouldn't qualify as a zetian hive world. Coast to coast was saying afew days ago that we made some bad deals in order to obtain some of the recent high tech.

        October 19, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • colin in Florida

        It was the democrats who cut NASA's budget.

        October 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Fat Fella

        Shoot, I'll do it for free just to get off of this idiot-infested mud ball.

        October 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • seth

        "A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure..."

        October 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • Tina - tickled by science

        It'll be quite a communite 🙂

        October 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • wasted money

        What are they going to find on Mars they haven't already found. What a waste of 2 billion plus. Gee ! It eats dirt, and their naming every rock on the planet. The money could have been spent wiser.

        October 21, 2012 at 8:49 am |
      • Sebastian2

        @colin in Florida

        Sorry, but you're mistaken.
        The Republican controlled Congress pushed the recent cuts in NASA's budgets, not the president. It was also Bush who canceled the shuttle program back in 2004. What Obama canceled was the ill-conceived, under-funded "Constellation" return-to-the-moon project; which was never adequately funded since it's inception (all of it's funding had to come from within NASA itself; which would've gutted much of the unmanned program). Even astronaut Wally Schirra (before his death) called Constellation "Apollo on food stamps" (I was in attendance at a space convention when he said this), and that it was better off canceled. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin said a similar thing when I heard him speak in Pasadena in 2009. As you are from Florida, I sympathize, but please don't fall for more GOP fiction.

        October 22, 2012 at 9:13 am |
      • Mike Smith @timeandspaceus

        Who should be held responsible?

        While Bush and O'Keefe might have started the ball rolling in this direction, and while Griffin did everything in his power to speed the program's demise, there was ample opportunity for Obama, Bolden and Garver to make other decisions. Gerstenmaier, who's responsibility it is to ensure proper support for ISS and human space flight, should have spoken up and said other options needed to be considered.

        These people, by their silence, decided to continue on the same path established in 2004 without regard to the failures of the Constellation management and Griffin's designs. The whole lot of them are useless in my estimation.

        There were ample opportunities for other outcomes. The responsibility lies about 75% with the current management, including Obama, and about 25% with the people who established the plan in prior administrations without due consideration of other options.

        October 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Arnold Ziffel

      You think that up all by yourself?

      October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • sumguy2006


      October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Amy

      In the late 80's I was a student at Columbia under Robert Jastrow the brilliant Nasa scientist who we fondly called Astro Jastrow for his incredible enthusiasm for space exploration – he said then that NASA had proof that Mars had had water on it and therefore at one time supported life as we know it. The biggest discovery would not be Ro-Moneys gold but the proof of water once and for all.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:35 am |
      • Curious

        I'm really curious about picture 8. If Mars has no water on it, I would think the soil would be very dry and sandy. The tire tracks depicted in this photo clearly show compacted soil being held together by something that's leaving a very concise print. I don't believe dry sand would compact like the print shown in the picture. Any explanations out there?

        October 19, 2012 at 9:09 am |
      • Think Again


        Pour some flour on the floor and step in it. You'll find your footprint in the dry, dusty material.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:38 am |
      • Archived

        Curious- I suppose it could still be damp with some kind of non-water liquid. I have no idea, this was just a thought after reading your comment.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:42 am |
      • Smelly_Feet

        Finding water would hardly be surprising. Ice (frozen water) is the most common substance in the known universe.

        October 19, 2012 at 10:25 am |
      • Geologist

        Hi Curious,

        The grain size of the sediments Curiosity is moving through is likely much smaller than what geologists would categorize as sand. You're absolutely right – sand wouldn't retain a footprint like that, but something with flour-size grains (as mentioned above) probably would. There's also some factor from static charge, if present, between the grains as well as their shape.

        As for some non-water liquid? It can't be ruled out at this point, but I'd be highly skeptical of that. The sediments appear to be dry and possibly behaving like regolith such as what you'd find on the Moon (not saying they're the same material, but some physical properties are probably similar).

        The conglomerate is extremely solid evidence that free-flowing water once existed on Mars, and I would not be surprised if we find a lot of hydrous minerals (minerals containing OH- complexes as part of their structure or have some amount of H2O trapped within their structure). This is pretty exciting stuff! It will be very interesting to see what the bright particles are – I'm wondering right now if they might be some form of caliche. We'll find out soon enough!

        October 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • jeepguy6

        Think Again,

        Just because the flour appears dry to you does not mean it doesn't have water vapor from the air.

        October 19, 2012 at 10:45 am |
      • Rick Shultz

        Hi there Curious. I can tell you what causes that without being a political wiseacre like the rest of the people that post here. We discovered this same phenomenon on the moon in the dust there. The sand and dust grains have very sharp contours with lots of little sharp points that stick and interlock with the sharp points on other sand and dust grains and that is what makes them stick together the way they do. The grains are not weathered at all because they have not been exposed to water.

        October 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • Jake

        Actually Smelly_Feet, water isn't the most abundant thing in the universe. Hydrogen and Helium are far and away more prolific than water, liquid or frozen.

        October 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • Prefection

        Actually, you're ALL wrong. Rock is the most common material in all the known universes. It's all rocks. Tons of rocks. Just plain rocks. And maybe a few stones.

        October 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • Anne

        An elongated octagon flat 1 millimeter fleck. What mineral naturally occurs in that shape? What if its parts of a satellite face sheet from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006), Mars Express or 2001 Mars Odyssey (2003) satellites around Mars. Or parts from Phobos 2 (1988) / Beagle 2 (2003) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Beagle_2_replica.jpg ?

        October 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Huh?

      This is where you're hiding your brain, because you are stupid and everyone hates you. I hope you get hit by a Obama campaign bus you moron twerp troll loser.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:42 am |
      • lbpaulina

        Such rudeness should not be allowed. This is not about politics, this is about education.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:17 am |
      • Leisure suit Lary

        Don't hold back ... tell us how you really feel!

        October 19, 2012 at 9:27 am |
      • bkerr

        What's ironic, is your ranting how you hope someone gets hit by a bus ... seems like the "loser" mantra is on the other foot now.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • svann

        "Stupid and vile" is how one of my republican friends describes Obama. I should point her to your post so she understands what those words really mean.

        October 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • mark

      Gold rush 2

      October 19, 2012 at 8:56 am |
      • voyager 1

        yeh, I can see it now. The Hoffman's on Mars. Boy, wound they see some exciting set backs there. lol

        October 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Jose

      Obama has more money invested offshore than Romney does. I guess they didn't cover that in your Democrat talking points.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:02 am |
      • John

        Obama certainly has money offshore, as do most well off people, but you cannot legitimately claim that he has more offshore funds than Gov. Romney. Even most far right wing sites don't come to this conclusion.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • cwh irq afg vet

        really what is the source for this claim?? and if there isn't a valid source stop trolling at science locations..

        October 19, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • David

        It's "Democratic" talking points. Go back to school.

        October 19, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • bspurloc

        yeah the keystone pipeline is oil for the USA.....
        oh wait they didnt explain that to u at fox?

        October 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • Asia

        i think that oboma is doing great at least we know what he is doing now and i think that he is really cute for being his age

        October 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • NotOBAMA

      I am NOT Obama, but I approve your message.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • Jesse Pinkman

        Obama killed NASA

        October 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • CaesarXIII

      Maybe it's one of Obamas failed shovel ready jobs.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:02 am |
      • Boss Hogg

        You mean the shovel-ready jobs that the Republican Congress refused to fund? Heh?

        October 19, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • GAW

      Folks remember rule #1 DON'T FEED THE TROLLS

      October 19, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • chuck norris says hi

      i know right. dont trust romney

      October 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |

      Probably landed in an ancient dump....same stuff someone will find here one day...

      October 19, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Iowan

      Yeah – he thought ho one would ever find the money on Mars! Boy was he wrong!!!

      October 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Howard

      The first thing that popped into my mind when I read that headline was, "beer can pop-tops!"

      October 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • FreeStateRacer

      Looks like the moonbats have morphed into mars-bats.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • alan s

      Offshoring: What a childish comment.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Lucy Morton

      No its Obama's safedeposit box wehre he keeps hi fake collage papers and his real birth certificate, you moron.

      Obama will loose in a landslide and all you liberal magotts will blame Bush again.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Daveeed

      Lets not forget... Obama killed the shuttle program

      October 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • forex brokers

      With the advent and widespread accessibility of the internet, online forex brokers have become very popular;

      December 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  93. Meh

    Wow, small shiny things on Mars...I wish we had something like that on Earth.
    I love the fact that we're exploring Mars but the media just cant be silent if there's nothing to say.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And yet... here you are on a media website at 8am.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:15 am |
      • Gil Nodges

        Tom, Tom,
        Just because it's 8am where you are, doesn't mean it's 8am everywhere.....lol.

        October 19, 2012 at 8:47 am |
      • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the Original Hinduism Source.......)

        In TTP's book, sun goes around the Earth, seriously.

        October 19, 2012 at 9:14 am |
      • lbpaulina

        Where are you?

        October 19, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  94. WASP

    number one reason to go to mars: survival of the human species.
    number one reason for corperate world to go to mars: "we found rare meterials and gold."

    wait let them find something interesting, the next mission to mars will be paid for by the pepsi company. lmfao

    October 19, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • commonsense

      money gets things done, like get people to mars. in the long run the only way to get people to mars is to make money first. I know you want to blindly hate corporations because thats what your teachers have programmed you to do ... but without business we would have nothing. well unless you prefer communism. I prefer the carrot on a string approach rather than the getting beat with a stick approach to economics/govt ...but that's just me ...

      October 19, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • Kepler

        Without teachers, we would n0t have made it to Mars in the first place

        October 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • nostrildamus

      I see nothing wrong with moving all sorts of hazardous and environmentally degrading industries up out of our atmosphere. Offshore jobs? Nah... we want Off Earth jobs!
      Of course' there's that annoying detail of "economically feasible", but small bits like that can be dealt with later.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • demwit

        At least we won't have to worry about illegal aliens taking our Mars jobs. Oh wait.., we'll be the illegal aliens!!

        October 19, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • WhatNow

      Wasp...Don't beat up on education simply because some people don't say what you want to hear. Without education, we wouldn't be on Mars.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  95. Bill

    HAHAHA. Now they are going to look to outsource the work on Mars. Next article will read "Slave labor available on Mars".

    October 19, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  96. mdreader

    Could these shiny things be rhinestones from Dame Edna, possums?

    October 19, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • kwhisperer


      October 19, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • speed racer

      the aliens that got there before us left that there

      October 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jj

      OOOOOOO..... Yes........

      October 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  97. Jim

    Swamp gas. Oh wait, do they have swamps? Nevermind; weather balloon.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Larry

      Theres only one Jim that I know that uses swamp gas. Playa gold.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  98. MCR

    Headline rewrite:

    Mars Rover Has ADD, Distracted by Shiny Objects

    Seriously, though, this is cool stuff!

    October 19, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Josh

      Don't forget, it also likes to eat dirt.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  99. S

    Looks like a piece of Megatron's butt

    October 19, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Leave your wife out of this.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • tachowar

      jajajaja…good one !

      October 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  100. dbyres

    Very disappointing all the anti-semetic crap going on because of a shiny object

    October 19, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Polly

      have another falafel, i think you're boss has accidentally given you the wrong site to place posts l....

      October 20, 2012 at 7:26 am |
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