NASA’s Curiosity rover has made yet another interesting discovery on the surface of the red planet. The shiny object is called ‘Ames Knob.’
This time, NASA’s very own alien robot exploring Mars has spied a potential meteorite on the surface of our neighboring planet. This is the third one Curiosity has found since it successfully touched down on Mars in August 2012.
The image of the ‘metallic object’0 was snapped by the Curiosity Rover’s Mastcam on January 12, 2017.
As noted by Universe Today, who first picked up the story, there are three dots on the meteorite – which shows it was zapped by Curiosity’s ChemCam instrument.
NASA’s Curiosity rover uses its ChemCam laser to study various rocks on the surface of Mars. The rover observes the resulting vaporized material to see what they’re made of.
“[Ames Knob] resembles the iron-nickel meteorite ‘Egg Rock’ that Curiosity examined in November, so this target was inspected with the laser-firing ChemCam spectrometer,” noted Guy Webster from Universe Today. “It yielded similar results.”
Furthermore, the fact that the newly found object is fairly smooth also indicates that it is fairly new. However, scientists also note that given the fact that Mars’ atmosphere is much thinner than that of Earth, the meteorite may have simply experienced less erosion.
Strangely there is a mystery behind the meteorites on Mars.
On our planet, around 95 percent of meteorites are stony, only 4.4 percent are composed of Irion.
However on Mars, the picture is entirely different, as all eight meteorites that have been spotted by the Curiosity and Opportunity Rovers have are made of iron.
“Why no large stony meteorites have yet to be been found on Mars is puzzling,” writes King. “Maybe they simply blend in too well with all the other rocks littering the Martian landscape. Or perhaps they erode more quickly on Mars than the metal variety.”