Shiny object on Mars spotted by NASA rover Curiosity (Photo)

By on Oct 10, 2012 in Astronomy, Science Comments

NASA rover Curiosity reportedly found a shiny object on Mars on Sunday, October 7, 2012, the 61st day of Curiosity on the Red Planet. The bright object, was highlighted in the photo below, was found when the robotic arm of the Mars rover collected a scoop of sand that day.

Shiny object on Mars 1

Shiny object on Mars
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

According to NASA on its official website on Monday, the Mars rover team decided to stop from using the rover’s robotic arm that day, and started to make additional imaging of the strange object, which was taken by Curiosity‘s Mast Camera (Mastcam), so they can identify it and know its possible impact on the Mars mission.

As noted in the report, the shiny object measures 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide and 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long; and the rover team noted that it is unlikely to be a Martian material, but rather appears to be a plastic object that came from Curiosity rover, based on their initial assessment.

“Team spotted bright object on ground near me—possibly a piece of rover hardware? Gathering more data.” Curiosity rover team (@MarsCuriosity) tweeted on Tuesday, and was later followed by “Shiny Object Update: My team continues to assess a small object on ground, likely a shred of benign plastic.”

As a precaution, NASA said that the sample of sand and dust scooped up on Sol 61 is still in the scoop and that they have no plans yet of transferring it to other chambers, to prevent any problems that might occur during Sol 62 planning.

Related Post: Signs of water on Mars discovered by NASA via rover Curiosity (Photo)

Shiny object on Mars
Shiny object on Mars
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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