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Space and PhysicsAstronomy

Perseverance Spots Snake Head And A Balancing Cairn On Mars

The industrious rover spied these curious rock formations last weekend while exploring an ancient river delta.

author

Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockJun 15 2022, 14:18 UTC
The snake-head formation and in the background the balancing cairn spotted by Perseverences on June 12, 2022. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
The snake-head formation and in the background the balancing cairn spotted by Perseverences on June 12, 2022. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

One cannot but be amazed by the incredible landscapes that the robotic population of Mars has discovered on their travels. Certain aspects of the Red Planet, like its blue sunset, are totally alien to us but many others are quite familiar. Some are too familiar, like seeing "snakes" in its rock formations and even spotting balancing boulders.

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One of the latest images from NASA’s Perseverance delivers a double geological curiosity for our delight. It spotted a little boulder balancing over a much bigger rock, a bit like a cairn, and in the foreground, an eroded layered cliff shows what looks like the head of a snake.

Balancing boulder spotted by Perseverence on June 12, 2022
Balancing boulder spotted by Perseverence on June 12, 2022. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU


The anaconda-like head wouldn’t be amiss among the “pyramids” of Cydonia but several thousand kilometers east. The formation is among the quintessential structures that Perseverance has observed so far. The stratified rocks are from the time water was flowing into Jezero crater; water that created the river delta that the industrious robot is now studying, hoping to find evidence for past life on Mars. 

The snake-head formation spotted by Perseverences on June 12, 2022. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
The snake-head formation spotted by Perseverences on June 12, 2022. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU



Space and PhysicsAstronomy
  • Mars,

  • Astronomy,

  • Perseverance