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Curious Rover Just Spotted Super-Glossy Object on Mars



Yes, that's a shiny stone, all right.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / LANL

The unusually smooth and reflective Martian rock caught the attention of NASA scientists, which triggered a curiosity investigation.

Thanks to the extremely successful landing of the InSight probe on Mars earlier this week, our attention was naturally diverted from the Inquisition, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012. While we were immersed in InSight, the six-wheel NASA rover worked at the Vera Rubin Ridge, exploring the top trench, a unique heel of the gray subsoil.

Curiosity appeared earlier on Highfield, but the NASA mission managers wanted to look at the four previously exposed rocks – including an unusually smooth rock that at least in black and white looks a bit like a piece of gold.

Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / LANL

The immediate suspicion is that the rock, called Little Colonsay, is a meteorite, but NASA scientists will certainly not know until curiosity carries out a chemical analysis. Different ChemCam, which consists of a camera, a spectrograph and a laser, offers a laboratory laboratory of chemistry.

This curiosity may have hit the meteorite is not shocking. There were several such items in the oil, including a large metal meteorite in 2015 and a glossy meteorite of nickel and iron in the following year.

Other interesting objects discovered by curiosity include a seemingly outdated shard, a smooth, strangely shaped object that turned out to be a piece of plastic packaging that fell from the rover, and the perfect looking sphere designed as a product by a natural geological process called concretion. Perhaps the most frequent event happened in 2013 when curiosity glimpsed rocks that were inconspicuously similar to the squirrel – a classic example of pareidolia, a sort of optical illusion in which faces, animals, or objects of everyday life are projected on insignificant stimuli or media.

Rocks on the Highfield drilling area.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / LANL

Anyhoo, Curiosity rover will also explore the rock named Flanders Moss, which has been given its name thanks to its dark coating. Again, NASA will not know more about this object until curiosity begins analyzing sample after drilling. Two other stones, Forres and Eidon, will also be explored before the curiosities that appear at Highfield.

Obviously, curiosity is the only mobile rover on Mars. His compatriot, the occasional rover, was out of control because the dust storm forced him into hibernation, a sleep from which he could not wake up. NASA has not yet announced missions for the dead, but we should know about Opportunities at the beginning of next year.

[NASA JPL]

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