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NASA’s Curiosity rover has found –and analysed— a strange melted object on the surface of Mars. The melted object is made of nickel and iron.
Ever since NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on the surface of the red planet in 2012, it has made surprising discoveries that completely changed what we knew about Mars. NASA’s rovers have found evidence of liquid water, the presence of methane and organic molecules, and curious sedimentary formations that have caused a worldwide debate.
However, one of the most curious discoveries was made recently as Curiosity photographed a strange object that has been identified as a small melted meteorite composed of melted nickel and iron.
Named by scientists as “Egg Rock” because its ovoid shape, the curious object was found by the MastCam onboard the Curiosity rover on Sol 153.
After photographing the object, the rover gave it a closer look and studied the object with its ChemCam’s Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) which allowed researchers back on Earth to get a chemical analysis and see what the object is made of.
As it turns out, the ‘Egg Rock’ is composed of metals which explain its melted appearance.
According to experts, the object most likely became molten as it entered the Martian atmosphere, once it crashed to the surface, it cooled down and was preserved in its original state reports Universe Today.
According to gizmodo.com, the Curiosity rover has found meteorites on Mars in the past, but this object has some very exciting features. It appears to have a very smoot surface, almost as if ‘someone’ polished the rock. The ‘Egg Rock’ also has a few deep grooves which is a classic tell-tale sign of weathering patterns.
Considering that the atmosphere of our neighboring planet has a density of only 1 percent that of Earth, it is extremely likely that this type of small objects survive in most of their trips to the Martian surface. This is something almost impossible on our planet, where the enormous friction in the atmosphere is responsible for disintegrating space objects completely before landfall.
The Curiosity rover is currently climbing towards Mount Sharp as the rover is gearing up for another experiment at another exploration site.