Reality Check: Spheres on Mars Not Fossils

Mars has a long history of being misinterpreted, from conjurings of apparent canals that signaled an alien civilization to the infamous NASA photo of a supposed giant face. Now a close-up picture of tiny spheres embedded in a Martian rock has some people seeing fossilized life. This alternate, perhaps hopeful view of a picture taken by NASA’s Opportunity Rover and released Monday has been expressed in e-mail messages to reporters and geologists. Mission scientists anticipated it and were ready yesterday with a response.