NASA has spotted an unusually light-colored boulder on Mars that could reveal clues about the planet’s past

NASA’s Perseverance rover has spotted an unusually light-colored rock in Jezero Crater on Mars – something never before seen on the Red Planet.

Unusual boulder spotted on Mars PHOTO: Video capture

According to the researchers of the project, the strange boulder could indicate new details about the ancient past of the planet Mars, writes livescience

The rock, named “Atoko Point”, after a similar light-colored feature in the Grand Canyon, it stands out among all the darker boulders that litter the search area, the team wrote in a NASA statement.

Scientists first spotted the rock as part of an 18-image mosaic taken on May 27.

The diversity of textures and compositions at Mount Washburn was an exciting discovery for the team because these rocks represent a set of geologic gifts from the crater rim and potentially beyond,” said Brad Garczynski of Western Washington University. of Bellingham and co-leader of the current science campaign.

The researchers added that although Atoko is “the first rock of its kind” observed on Mars, almost certainly “it won’t be the last”as Perseverance continues its mission to the rim of Jezero Crater

Perseverance landed on Mars in February 2021 and has since explored Jezero Crater – a region believed to have once been an ancient lake. The rover’s main mission is to find signs of ancient life, and it has already collected 24 geological samples for future studies.

The current trip through Jezero Crater is part of Perseverance’s fourth science campaign to find carbonate and olivine minerals along the crater rim.