from the sorry-homer dept.
"NASA has announced that they have solved the mystery of the rock resembling a jelly doughnut, nicknamed 'Pinnacle Island', that appeared in front of the Opportunity rover recently. They have determined that it is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in early January.
Only about 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) wide, the white-rimmed, red-centered rock caused a stir last month when it appeared in an image the rover took Jan. 8 at a location where it was not present four days earlier.
More recent images show the original piece of rock struck by the rover's wheel, slightly uphill from where Pinnacle Island came to rest.
When the rock was first found, the scenario that Opportunity flipped the rock up onto itself was considered the most likely scenario. Another hypotheses was that it was ejecta from a nearby meteorite strike. Silly reactions included William Shatner wondering if it was Martians playing ring toss, and a lawsuit against NASA, alleging the space agency has been negligent in studying the object."