Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Jeff Foust

The Curious Case of the Martian Rabbit

One of the side effects of a mission like NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers, where much of the raw mission data is made available to the public shortly after being transmitted to Earth, is the number of, well, unusual interpretations of…

  • March 9, 2004

One of the side effects of a mission like NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers, where much of the raw mission data is made available to the public shortly after being transmitted to Earth, is the number of, well, unusual interpretations of the images made by people. According to this Knight Ridder article, people have claimed to find all sorts of artifacts in the images returned by Spirit and Opportunity: letters of the alphabet, dinosaur fossils, and stone tools. One of the most popular odd sightings is what appears to be the head of a rabbit, with ears that even appear to wriggle. JPL went so far as to publish an article to put to rest the bunny tale: the object, it turns out, is a small, lightweight piece of debris from the Opportunity lander, most likely insulation or material from the lander’s airbags. No doubt, though, there are some people who remain unconvinced, and are scouring the image archives looking for something else

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.