While “were in” busy celebrating Halloween, NASA was busied looking at an display of targets on Mars with its extended suite of instruments on board the Curiosity rover. Theweird-looking boulder is absolutely crusade bloggers in many cellars around the world to affirm it as an alien artifact or maybe a robotic head.
The rock in question has been dubbed Egg Rock by investigates at the Astrogeology Science Centerin Arizona. It was studiedby the rovers ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager, which kills lasers at a target and then analyzes the light released by the vaporized rock-and-roll to work out what textile it is made of.
While the analysis is still ongoing, the team participating in the Red Planet Report, from Arizona State University, show a small nickel-iron meteorite as the most likely candidate. Curiosity has known meteorites on Mars before, but this one seems significantly more smoothed than the previous ones discovered by other rovers like Opportunity or Spirit.
Meteorite chunks like this are likely common on Mars due to its sky, which is significantly different from Earths. The Blood-red Planet has on average 1percent of the atmospheric pressure of our planet, which facilitates meteors, especially the more dense ones, contact the floor intact.
Curiosity snarled this photo of “Egg Rock” on Sunday, October 30. The white-hot domains correspond to the hit phases of the laser. NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ MSSS
Mars atmosphere scarcity abundant oxygen and liquid vapor, which would rust and eventually weaken this object. For the above reasons, cast-iron meteoritesdominate the small number of astronomical stones that have been discovered on the Red Planet.
Curiosity is continuing its work inside Gale Crater, gradually clambering the shallow ascents of Mount Sharp, the mission’s principal objectives, the basi of which was reached in September 2014. The rover is now moving towards a capped crest rich in hematite, an iron-oxide mineral.
“We continue to reach higher and younger layers on Mount Sharp, ” said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a statement.”Even after four years of exploring near and on the mountain, it still has the potential to completely surprise us.”
[ H/ T: Red Planet Report]