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Mysterious light-colored rock appears on surface of Mars

Mysterious light-colored rock appears on surface of Mars On Mars, a unique white rock has been found (Collage by RBC-Ukraine)

Researchers have discovered a mysterious stone on the surface of Mars that significantly differs from everything else found on the Red Planet. The stone has been named Atoko Point, and scientists are currently trying to determine its origin.

Live Science provides details on what this stone is and how it was successfully identified.

The unusual stone in the Jezero Crater on Mars was spotted by the Perseverance rover. Never before seen on Mars, this bright and shiny stone has scientists confident it will help uncover new details about Mars' past.

Named Atoko Point after a similarly light feature in the Grand Canyon, it stands out remarkably among the surrounding dark coal-colored boulders. It was first observed in images on May 27 and appeared like a piece of a mosaic.

According to estimates by scientists, Atoko Point measures 45 centimeters wide and 35 centimeters tall, composed of pyroxene and feldspar. The scientific team also speculates that the pale stone may have been transported from another part of the planet by an ancient river or formed underground and was brought to the surface through erosion.

На поверхні Марсі помітили загадковий світлий камінь: він поки єдиний у своєму роді

On the surface of Mars, a mysterious white stone has been discovered (photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

This stone is currently the first and only one of its kind. However, according to researchers, it may not be the last. Currently, the Perseverance rover continues its mission on the edge of the Jezero Crater, where there could be many diverse geological discoveries.

The rover landed on the Red Planet in February 2021 and has since been exploring the Jezero Crater, a location that was once an ancient lake. Its primary mission is to search for signs of ancient life. Over three years, the rover has already collected 24 geological samples for further study.

"The diversity of textures and compositions at Mount Washburn was an exciting discovery for the team, as these rocks represent a grab bag of geologic gifts brought down from the crater rim and potentially beyond," said Brad Garczynski of Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Earlier we wrote that NASA issued a warning about the change in the color of the Black Sea.

We also reported that another lake was found on Mars, but it is without water.