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NASA has released a series of new photos taken by its Curiosity rover that appear to show a “flower” on the surface of Mars.

NBCNews.com’s photo blog reports that the photos were taken as part of an effort to capture 360-degree images during Curiosity’s trek through Mars’ Yellowknife Bay.

New Jersey-based journalist and photographer Ken Kramer has assembled the Curiosity photographs, adding color to give a realistic view of what the rover is seeing on the planet’s surface.

But what has really caught people’s attention is a raw image from NASA’s photo feed that one reader on Above Top Secret has called a “Martian flower.” On the posting, the commenter going by the name “Arken,” writes: “The Albedo (or Reflectivity of Sun Light) of this object is very high, and its translucent appearance, the irregular conformation (like pistils) and the 'texture' of its wider areas is smooth, and seem that it is ground attached. This is the SECOND TRANSLUCENT ANOMALY detected by Curiosity in Gale Crater.”

NBC’s Alan Boyle writes that he at first assumed the “flower” was actually just a piece of plastic that had fallen off the Curiosity rover. A similar event happened in October. So, Boyle reached out to NASA spokesman Guy Webster. Interestingly, Webster shot down the plastic theory, saying in response, "That appears to be part of the rock, not debris from the spacecraft."

This Alan Boyle character is a straight ahead professional hack debunker, IMO. And since when did he become such a arbiter of media truth? It could be some kind of crystaline mineral deposit, but I've never seen any mineral deposit exactly like that. Somebody got some splainin' to do. Very strange indeed.  To read more, click here.
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