Space & Astronomy
Curiosity investigates strange iron meteorite
By T.K. Randall
November 3, 2016 · 28 comments
This peculiar meteorite was discovered recently on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA's Curiosity rover has taken a closer look at an odd-looking meteorite lying on the surface of Mars.
The peculiar golf-ball-sized object was first noticed by scientists after it was picked up on the rover's Mast Camera (MastCam) in an area of Mars that it drove to back at the end of last month.
Now a closer look using the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument has revealed that the object, which has been named 'Egg Rock', is in fact a meteorite containing iron and nickel.
"Iron meteorites provide records of many different asteroids that broke up, with fragments of their cores ending up on Earth and on Mars," said ChemCam team member Horton Newsom.
"Mars may have sampled a different population of asteroids than Earth has."
Meteorites found on the surface of Mars have the potential to tell us a great deal about how the planet's environment has changed over the last few million years.
The region Egg Rock was found in, which Curiosity reached on its way up Mount Sharp, is already believed to have offered conditions that were once favorable to microbial life.
A closer analysis of the meteorite could help reveal further clues about the planet's habitability.
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