Sometimes I just have to laugh at the lengths to which scientism digs itself in ever deeper, which profering seemingly rational explanations. This time, of course, our story concerns that Mars "jelly doughnut" rock that wasn't in one photograph, and then, later, was there. This of course spouted various versions of the Windex Hypothesis (i.e., someone put it there, cleaned our solar panels, etc). This article was shared by Mr. T.M., and its worth reading, if only for the laughs:
Well, isn't that great news! Mystery solved! The rover, say scientists, simply picked up the rock which got stuck in one of its wheels, which then became unstuck and dropped where it was photographed.
No Windex Hypothesis to contend with!
But wait, there's a problem, now, with the rock itself. It isn't, thankfully, a Krispy Kreme jelly doughnut, but something "worse":
" Although researchers figured out where the rock came from, there are other weird aspects of the Pinnacle Island tale. Using Opportunity's tools, mission scientists have discovered that the rock has very high levels of sulfur and manganese. Both of those elements are water-soluble, suggesting that they were concentrated in the rock due to the "action of water," NASA officials said.
"'This may have happened just beneath the surface relatively recently, or it may have happened deeper below ground longer ago and then, by serendipity, erosion stripped away material above it and made it accessible to our wheels,' Arvidson said.":(Emphasis added)
In other words, now we have more evidence of water on Mars, and, if you're thinking closely, possible indications of something else (but I won't say what it is... that's one to think through on your own). In any case, we now have "serendipity" being promoted as a scientific explanation. I don't know about you, but I seem to recall my middle and high school science teachers as being a rather prosaic, unimaginative lot who would have promptly failed me if I had written that something happened "by serendipity."
Oh, and by the way, more good news: the wind has magically blown more dust off our solar panels than has been blown on to our solar panels:
"'We are now past the minimum solar-energy point of this Martian winter," Opportunity project manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. "We now can expect to have more energy available each week. What's more, recent winds removed some dust from the rover's solar array. So we have higher performance from the array than the previous two winters.'"
...sigh... sometimes, you just have to shake your head...
See you on the flip side...