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February 21, 2004 11:43

The Rectangle-Hole Rock....

Our first glimpse of this very interesting rock, originally dubbed "The Square-hole Rock" by lay anomaly hunters, and subsequently altered to the more correct descripition of the "Rectangle-hole Rock." The rock was eventually named "Sushi" by the members of the JPL MER team. Why? We don't know. The scientists at the Jet Propolsion Laboratory found the rock worthy of investigation at first, but then changed their minds. It seems the surface of the rock was too dust laden to be of any scientific value.

NOTE: The rock in the background is not 'levitating' in this image, the illusion is created with the process of stitching frames together.

color_panaroma_sol6-ABR1_med.jpg Context Image

The apparent size of the rock is compared to the diameter of the rover's wheels. Since the rover wheels are approximately 10 inches in diameter, the rock in question is approximately 8 inches high. The rectangle hole is estimated to be 2 x 1.5 inches.

Context Image

In this frame, the possibility of dust, or something else "pouring" out of the hole was investigated. Although it visually appears something is exiting the hole, the results are inconclusive. More data would be beneficial.

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Best enhancement of the rectangle-hole rock.

This close-up of the rectangle hole doesn't come close to quenching the thirst of die-hard anomaly hunters. A picture taken with the rover's microscopic camera would be great....this rock is truly intriguing! It's really sad JPL didn't find the hole as interesting.

Statement by MER scientists regarding the image PIA05103:

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040119a.html

Hungry for Rocks
This image taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows "Sashimi" and "Sushi" - two rocks that scientists considered investigating first. Ultimately, these rocks were not chosen because their rough and dusty surfaces are ill-suited for grinding. Dusty surfaces also can obscure observations of a rock's top coating.

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© Bryan Butcher, 2004

Context Images courtesy NASA/JPL