Floating rock on Mars reveals secret of levitation

Scientists  claim caused by paramagnetism

An image taken by the Mars rover Curiosity has started a new field of science. The image shows a small rock floating about 20cm above the surface. It has now been explained as caused by paramagnetism. An iron meteorite buried just below the surface has generated a very strong magnetic field at this location, and this has induced a counteraction in the rock.

Scientist were surprised that the effect could be so large even on intrinsically non-magnetic material. A test was done on Earth, and it was shown that a frog (at best dia-magnetic) could indeed be made to float in a strong magnetic field.

Elon Musk has immediately used the effect to gain further publicity for the Mars project. The image belows shows the rehearsal for the sending-off ceremony of the first Marsonauts.

MarsBar Newscorp

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