Mars rover Curiosity sent back to Earth an image of what looked like a flower on the red planet. Scientists still do not have enough information about the object, but they insist the pearl-colored material is not biological in nature.
Mars Rover Curiosity: ‘Flower’ Photo Still Baffles Scientists (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)
The Martian "flower" was dubbed as such when it was discussed on Above Top Secret forum. User Arken said the object's irregular form resembled the pistils of a flower. Apparently, some readers took away only the word "flower" from Arken's description.
"It could be a lot of things, but without some chemical information to back me up, I'd really hesitate to say what it is," Aileen Yingst, of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, was quoted by Space.com on Tuesday.
Yingst is the deputy principal investigator for Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI.
"I'm not trying to be cagey," said Yingst, "I'm just trying to be clear that a light grain could be a lot of different things."