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NASA: "jelly doughnut" Mars rock is just a rock
Posted: Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 9:38 AM ET (1438 GMT)
Mars jelly doughnut rock (NASA/JPL) An unusual rock spotted by NASA's Opportunity rover last month dubbed the "jelly doughnut" is simply a rock kicked up by the rover's wheels, NASA said Friday. Scientists spotted the rock, formally named Pinnacle Island but widely called the "jelly doughnut" due to its appearance, in early January; the rock was not seen in an image of the same area taken a few days earlier. Scientists and the public speculated about the rock's origin; one person filed a lawsuit against NASA claiming that the rock was a fungus that NASA was not properly investigating. Scientists said Friday that Pinnacle Island was a fragment of a rock that had been run over and broken up by the rover. Opportunity is now moving up a slope that will tilt its solar panels towards the Sun during the winter season there.
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