There’s a lot of excitement about a rock that has mysteriously appeared on Mars. The interesting thing is that the centre part is high in sulphur, magnesium and manganese… the mind boggles. Now how did it manage to get there? The place was photographed 12 days apart by the Mars rover, Opportunity. First photo, it’s definitely not there. Second one it definitely is.
a) it’s a meteorite;
b) the result of a smoke hole blowing out
c) the result of Opportunity accidentally kicking a rock there
Which would you favour? Me? I’ve never heard of meteorite that’s similar to the rock. As for kicking a rock out of place, NASA could easily (and I presume have) check where there’s a rock missing along the rover’s track. That leaves a smoke hole… with sulphur, magnesium and manganese? Especially the manganese, which is metal that sits next to iron in the periodic table! No wonder the NASA scientists are arguing about this.
So I’ll add my twopennies worth. The rock is a white donut shape round a red centre. It suggests a ring vortex to me, which means it was formed out of an explosion of a small rock and then hurled onto the place Opportunity found it. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that some form of chemical process was going on inside a rock, slowly over the aeons building up the pressure until it just became too much and we are now seeing the result.
Which means Mars could be a dangerous place to visit if there are any more of these rocks lying around!
Well, this idea is not completely new to me… I did use in my short story A Fate of Dust that was published in issue 2 of Full Frontal Lobe e-zine, October 2012. Yes the story had more than just a small exploding rock to it! Yes, you’ll have to find it and read it!
Of course this story was first drafted before I did my MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa. On Saturday I had chance to meet up six others on the course. It was wonderful to hear of their books about to be published (a total of 5 in the next couple of years). I’ll let you know who and what, when the books are published, as I don’t want to tread on any contractual toes. Sounds like ours was a very successful year… sigh!
This rock does give me a few interesting ideas for a science fiction novelette I was already planning to write this spring – on a moon around a completely different planet. It fits in rather well. 🙂