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Curiosity, NASA’s Mars rover, has successfully collected samples and stunning images that are leaving scientists puzzled yet “extremely optimistic,” mission officials said.
During the rover’s latest boring of a 2.5-inch-deep hole into Windjana, the rover not only collected valuable fine-grained mudstone samples but it’s the images the rover captured that have scientists on the edge of their seats.
Scientists believe the images, which seem to show the fossilized remains of a fish-like creature, are definitive proof of the Red Planet’s supported life from millions of years ago.
NASA officials have named the fish-like fossil, “The Roman Red Fish,” after Mars, the Roman god of war and the planet’s nickname “Red Planet.”
The awesome discovery is the most significant proof of life since the Mars rover’s analyzation of rocks back in March that concluded Mars was capable of supporting life in the distant past, according to scientists.
“This is extraordinary news for the scientific community. We’ve found minute evidence of prior life before but nothing as concrete as this,” said Dr. Elle Stafon, NASA’s Chief Scientist.
The fossil seems to be located in an area that looks to have once been a stream, river or area that supported water. Mission scientists want Curiosity to climb up through the foothills, gathering more rock samples as it goes.
The rover’s measurements could help shed light on why and when Mars changed from a relatively warm and wet planet to the cold and dry world we know today, NASA officials have said.
While Windjana powder has been previously delivered, Curiosity currently carries the material excavated from the fossil site, NASA officials said.
“We’ll need to wait some time before we get the samples back to a lab and see what else can be discovered,” said Dr. Elle Stafon. “It’ll be amazing to see what is there. But in the meantime we have many images to study and analyze. It’s truly the greatest discovery we’ve ever found.”
originally posted by: Xcathdra
a reply to: jpcvanheijst
Is that website truly msnbc?
I ask because of the news stories at the bottom of the page announcing Macauly Culkin's death and some guy getting 300 years in prison for killing 33 cats.