This NASA Photo Of A Mars 'Flower' Is Absolutely Beautiful

NASA has shared countless beautiful photos from its rovers on Mars, and in one of its latest ones, Curiosity captures a small 'flower' on the sandy Martian surface. Outer space is filled with all kinds of mystery and wonder. There are strange galaxies, perplexing planets, and jaw-dropping nebulae. There's always something gorgeous to see. This is also true of our own Solar System. You don't have to travel millions of light-years away from Earth to grasp how amazing the universe is. From Saturn's icy ring system to Jupiter's unfathomably large storms, there are plenty of dazzling sights right in our backyard.

A prime example of this is Mars. At first glance, Mars may appear to be nothing more than a dry and dusty rock. While those are accurate descriptors of the planet, there's so much more to Mars. Many years ago, Mars once had flowing rivers and lakes not unlike what's here on Earth. Mars is also home to Olympus Mons — the tallest known mountain in the Solar System. Combined with haunting sunrises, strange rock formations, and huge salt deposits, Mars is a constant point of fascination for scientists, astronomers, and anyone remotely interested in the universe.

Related: Perseverance Spots Freaky 'Mars Frog' Rock Hanging Out On The Sand

As if Mars wasn't fascinating enough, the Red Planet just got a lot more peculiar thanks to a recent sighting of a Mars 'flower.' NASA's Curiosity rover found this flower while patrolling Mars and uploaded a few pictures of it on February 25. It goes without saying that it's beautiful. The center of the photo has the flower itself — appearing to be made out of rock/sand and featuring a few different arms shooting out in various directions. Surrounding the flower is Mars' iconic sandy surface with intricate, wind-swept patterns. Curiosity's taken a lot of Mars photos since it landed on the planet in 2012, but this may just be one of its most interesting.

As stunning as the Mars 'flower' is, there's a reason we mention it in quotation marks. That's because this isn't a flower at all — it just happens to look like one. Instead, this Mars 'flower' is a mineral structure that was likely formed many years ago as a result of precipitating water. It's no secret that water used to be everywhere on Mars, and this little formation appears to be lingering proof of that. Per the official Curiosity Twitter account, the 'flower' is just 1 cm in size and is a "concretion, eroded from sedimentary rock that was cemented by mineral-rich groundwater."

Of course, this is far from the first unique structure NASA's spotted on Mars. In August 2021, Curiosity stumbled across another small formation that looked eerily similar to a Martian worm. The Perseverance rover also discovered a large rock that bore a striking resemblance to a frog. Mars may be dusty, sandy, and rocky, but that's not to say those things can't create dazzling sights. From worms, frogs, and now flowers, who knows what Curiosity or Perseverance will find on Mars next.

Next: NASA Needs Your Help To Detect Life On Mars

Source: NASA (1), (2)



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