NASA'S Curiosity Rover Finds Meteorites Made Of Iron In Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover has stumbled upon a peculiar rock which looked like a rare iron-nickel meteorite. Reports say that the image was captured during the rover's travel on Mount Sharp. Scientists are now confirming if the rock is indeed a meteorite and if ever confirmed, it will be the third unique object that the Curiosity discovers in the red planet over its course of exploration.

The raw image that was shared by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory reveals a dimpled grey rock with metallic luster that was found by the Curiosity Rover laying on the grounds of Mount Sharp in Mars. The image was taken on Jan. 12 while the rover was exploring the peak of the said mountain.

According to Universe Today, the Curiosity Rover took a closer look at the rock and discovered features that is currently helping scientists to evaluate the object. It was discovered that the rock has three small, bright spots that are near the middle of the rock which are reportedly just pits from the Curiosity's ChemCam laser.

According to Phys.org, there are features in the rock that might be strong evidences that the rock is indeed a meteorite. As already mentioned, the rock had lightly-dimpled texture which reportedly are possible signs of regmaglypts. These regmaglypts are indentations which look like thumbprints in a Play-Doh and are commonly seen in meteorites. Another confirmation that scientists are waiting is that if the ChemCam results will show that the rock is mostly composed of iron. This, according to reports, is a clear indication that the rock is a meteorite that was formed from the core of an asteroid.

Following the discoveries of the Curiosity and the Opportunity Rover in the past five years, the objects found were strangely made of iron while 95 percent of the meteorites falling on Earth are stony. This, according to reports might be due to the differences on how a Martian and the terrestrial environments break rocky and metallic meteorites.

The rock appears to be fairly smooth and shiny which might be an indication that it just recently landed on Mars. However, there is an argument that Mars does not have oxygen nor water that could wear away the smooth surface on the meteorite hence, the rock might have been there longer than scientists expect. Some scientists are then thinking that the rock found by NASA's Curiosity Rover might have been laying on Mars for a long time now and has only been polished by the red planet's colossal dust storms.

© 2022 iTech Post All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

More from iTechPost