Something is stirring on Mars.
NASA’s Curiosity rover, in situ since the start of August, has apparently disturbed something previously unknown.
The onboard suite of detection and analysis instruments, called Sample Analysis at Mars – SAM – whilst investigating soil samples, is reported to have made a discovery of such significance, it’s got scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena very excited. Few, perhaps, more so than the rover mission’s principal investigator John Grotzinger, who described the discovery as “one for the history books”…
So what could it be?
Teasingly, frustratingly, NASA are remaining tight-lipped for at least the next few weeks. However, the fact that this announcement has been made in advance is a good sign that they are pretty damn confident about whatever it does turn out to be.
I can’t help noticing, though, that this is cutting very close to the Mayan end of the world™ thing that’s coming up.