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Curiosity finds shiny protuberance on Mars

Posted on Friday, 8 February, 2013 | Comment icon 108 comments | News tip by: william joseph

Image credit: NASA

NASA's rover has discovered something unusual - a metallic object protruding out from some rocks.

There have been several claims of strange objects in photographs taken by Curiosity over the last few months but this one is a little different. The strange metallic protuberance can be clearly seen sticking up out of some rocks and seems to cast a visible shadow underneath it. The photograph was taken by Curiosity's right Mastcam on January 30th.

The anomaly appears to be very different to the landscape around it and has the appearance of smooth metal with no apparent dust build-up. Some have speculated that it could be some sort of crystal formation or exposed metallic ore. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see what answers NASA can provide in response to the questions that have cropped up surrounding this image and whether it might represent something unique that has not been encountered before on the Red Planet.

"Now the rover has imaged a small metallic-looking protuberance on a rock."

  View: Full article |  Source: Universe Today

  Discuss: View comments (108)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #99 Posted by White Unicorn on 16 February, 2013, 3:13
I often wonder about Mars. Millions of years ago if it were teaming with life maybe even intelligent in the oceans or on land. It may have been bombarded with meteors which helped it lose its magnetic field during a natural pole shifting. Terrible climate effects would happen both to the atmosphere and even underground. Extreme cold and heat, sand storms, dry ice snow spewing at the caps etc. If this were to happen to earth how much would be left for archeologists to discover millions of years later? With the sand storms themselves it would cover any signs of surviving structures. We wouldn&... [More]
Comment icon #100 Posted by chopmo on 16 February, 2013, 4:41
Cheers for the photo, handy as usual This is now very close to the idea of fulgurite after a lightning strike as rare as they are, they happen. Don't forget the universe is how old? There is no carbon dating on the item, not even sure if that is possible by us at this stage? sorry if I'm mistaken, so it could be in fact fulgurite and an old piece at that, one that has been through alot of wind and sand activity to wear it down to a smoother surface as it's still got a fair bit of dirt "gripping" to it. Just like in the desert and or a piece of glass in the ocean would s... [More]
Comment icon #101 Posted by Lava_Lady on 16 February, 2013, 4:51
Looks like an earring I used to have that its now GONE... what do you know about that, Mars Rover Curiosity...hmmm??? I wonder how it got all the way up there on mars... :/
Comment icon #102 Posted by Archimedes on 16 February, 2013, 19:58
That's potentially true I suppose. Unfortunately in the absence of no evidence, all people can do is offer wild speculation. If a dead planet with no past civilisation or life looks the same as a dead planet had life, water, atmosphere, etc. millions of years ago that all evidence has been wiped away of, then you should apply Occam's Razor and assume it's what it appears to be without adding unnecessary and unevidenced extras to the theory. If evidence does come through that there was civilisation on Mars in the past, then so be it, it can be discussed and explained then. Until th... [More]
Comment icon #103 Posted by White Unicorn on 16 February, 2013, 20:23
You make good points about NASA. Robotics are great but not prepared to explore ALL unexpected finds given any mission. We all got some great pictures of space and must remember NASA gives them to us. You'd be crazy to want to be one of the first manned missions without the robots! I am one of many members of Planetary Society. I always thought Mars had an atmosphere and water in the distant past and would be a great study and might hold evidence of ancient life forms. I helped fund the first Mars rover and I can't tell you how happy I was that NASA welcomed the support of a the ... [More]
Comment icon #104 Posted by bison on 16 February, 2013, 22:23
It was Dr. Albert Einstein who said: 'Imagination is more important than knowledge'. It was once considered 'wild speculation' that people could travel to the Moon and back on rockets. If we were to keep alive in our minds the merest *possibility* that there was once a civilization on Mars, it might make us attentive to evidence that would show this to be the case; evidence that we might otherwise overlook in our haste to find a 'natural' explanation for whatever we find.
Comment icon #105 Posted by Abramelin on 17 February, 2013, 11:03
The reason people once thought there was a civilization on Mars was because they could see 'canals' on Mars. With better equipment these canals vanished, but the idea stuck..
Comment icon #106 Posted by Frank Merton on 17 February, 2013, 11:08
It looks like a featherless turkey with a model car for a head.
Comment icon #107 Posted by bison on 17 February, 2013, 16:02
Percival Lowell, prime exponent of the Martian canals, thought that there was a *current* civilization on Mars. Today we know that conditions on Mars rendered it conceivably habitable by higher forms of life a very long time ago, but not now. Since Mars is substantially smaller than Earth, it could have cooled from its hot primordial state sooner than Earth did. This might have allowed it to get a head start on Earth life. This just might have progressed to the point of civilization, long before humans appeared on Earth.

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