More on “Pinnacle Island”…

Well, “Pinnacle Island”- sorry, should give it its full title: “the mysterious rock ‘Pinnacle Island’, which has baffled NASA boffins scratching their heads” – is still basking in the warmth of the martian spotlight, and the debate about what it is and how it got there continues. Reading the most recent posts I think it’s fair to say that more people now believe it is simply a piece of local rock which Oppy flicked up out of the ground with one of its wheels, but there’s still some support for the idea that it’s a piece of ejecta from… somewhere…

Here’s my latest colourised view of it, which I’ve made out of raw filtered images taken just a couple of days ago…


Quite like that, but I’ve been having a play about with skilfully manipulating one of the images of PI taken by Oppy’s Microscopic Imager, to pull out some detail. The original is pretty hard to see anything on…


…so I turned it around and got down to work on it with my image processing software until I was able to salvage this improved view…


Much better, don’t you think? But that’s an ugly light/dark area in the middle, so with a little more tidying up I got this…


…which is a *little* better, but not much, I know. Still, it’s a new view of the rock which has everyone talking.

As to how it got there, well, on Sunday I thought I was on to something when, colourising some images of the surrounding area, I thought I spotted what looked like trails leading away from a couple of small rocks… hmmm… if they were real, and not either just imaging artefacts or my own over-active imagination seeing things that aren’t really there, could they be a sign that there has been a more general movement of rocks in this area recently, which might make the ejecta theory more plausible? See what you think… I’ve made an animation which highlights the “trails” with arrows. They’re very hard to see, I admit, and you will need to click on the image to enlarge it (and maybe to set the gif moving too, WordPress can be weird like that sometimes..!)


Well? What do you think? Am I on to something there? UMSF member Michael Howard told me in an email that he thinks the tracks – if they are tracks – are leading westwards, and perhaps only a little downhill, so I’m less confident than I was. But there’s something there, isn’t there? I’m not just seeing things..?


Hmmm. Not sure, still. Hopefully NASA will give us some more images – and an explanation of their own – sometime soon…

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