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I dont know, but a bicycle or car is going faily fast and as has been said, the rubber compressing against a hard floor will probably act like a rubber band propelling the stone out from underneath. Since the rovers dont have rubbery tyres filled with air this probably wont be an explanation which they can use today at their NASA space news conference. "It is probably a weather balloon" does not quite fit in with this problem so I wonder what they will say.
Still dont know why they raised this and brought it to the attention of the world. Any ideas?
Got the link to the nasa pic?
reply to post by Aleister
Thats amazing-looks like an ammonite.
The rest of the image looks like there could be other fossils nearby.
Got the link to the nasa pic?
Posting photos from other threads does not help, it only makes things worse.
I think you may also find that an old wagon with hard wheels would be going at more than 1-5cm per second. They would have a design requirement that the wheels do not kick up stones since you dont have a mechanic on hand to fix anything on Mars. At that speed, rocks or pebbles are unlikely to skid very far and the rocks are rather crumbly as well I believe.
I think an old wagon with wooden wheels slowly rolling half over a rock on a relatively hard surface could propel it out sideways, also. No "rubber band" effect required.
And what things does it make worse?
I think you may also find that an old wagon with hard wheels would be going at more than 1-5cm per second.
So, speed of movement has no bearing on the ejection distance? Doesn't it have to do with length of time the rover's wheel is contact with the pebble. I get the impression that a car moving quickly has more energy to give to a stone it throws up, rather than a slow-moving car. I am not particularly good at physics.
I don't think speed is that important, as what makes things jump is the pressure applied and the way that pressure is released.
So, speed of movement has no bearing on the ejection distance?
Doesn't it have to do with length of time the rover's wheel is contact with the pebble.
I get the impression that a car moving quickly has more energy to give to a stone it throws up, rather than a slow-moving car. I am not particularly good at physics.
Surely the weight of the rover and the area in contact with the pebble plus the hardness of each - the wheel and the pebble - will have something to do with it as well?
The rovers wheels are wide and relatively solid without any elasticity.
The pebble may be liable to crumble as rocks are on Mars, do you thnk it likely it would ping off somewhere if it got squeezed between two unyielding places or do you think it would just shoot out a little way (inches) from under the tyre?
This sounds like a change in the scenario NASA has been advocating. Before the rock was supposedly flipped up like a tiddlywinks disk, now they talk of it rolling, instead. Maybe the improbability of the 'tiddlywinks' scenario has been realized.
If it can be shown with reasonable certainty that the object did travel downhill, we are entitled to ask: was there a slope steep enough to make a rough rock roll a meter or more, especially considering that Mars' gravity is only about 38 % of Earth's ?