NASA's Curiosity rover captured the image of a flower-like object on Mars, but scientists are quick to announce the object was just a rock.
Hope springs eternal for life on Mars. The idea that this generation could celebrate man's discovery of life on Mars tickles the public imagination. So when a "flower" was spotted by the Mars Curiosity rover, scientists were careful not to spark public speculation.
A Martian observer discussed the photo on Above Top Secret forum as user Arken. He wrote:
NASA’s Curiosity rover captured the image of a flower-like object on Mars (Image: NASA)
"This amazing, extremely unusually-looking translucent object on the Martian surface is the second one detected by the Rover Curiosity. [...] The Albedo (or Reflectivity of Sun Light) of this object is very high, and its translucent appearance, the irregular conformation (like [the pistils of a flower]) and the "texture" of its wider areas is smooth, and seem that it is ground attached."
Soon, forum users picked up the association of the image to a flower and word quickly got around online.
In reaction to the news, a NASA spokesperson was quoted by MSN as saying, "[the object] appears to be part of the rock. I would guess that the flower was someone's descriptive term for its appearance, not meant as an interpretation that flowers exist on Mars."
Just last month, a UFO watcher posted a photo of another Curiosity rover image. This photo was scrutinized by many to determine whether the image captured was a rodent or a rock.
In November, news got out that NASA was going to have a huge announcement in relation to exciting finds on Mars. But NASA clarified later all Curiosity findings are considered exciting resources for further study.