Curiosity finds strange object on the surface of Mars | 8/18/2018 | Eddie Irizarry
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Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

This small object got the attention of Mars Curiosity mission scientists this past week. NASA scientists say they were finally able to figure out what the strange fragment is.

Images - Monday - August - Curiosity - Rover

Images captured on Monday (August 13, 2018) by the Curiosity rover’s camera show an object that looks perhaps like masking tape or a piece of peeled off paint. Scientists initially speculated that the mysterious chunk, which they referred to as Pettegrove Point Foreign Object Debris, was a piece of spacecraft debris, or part of Curiosity itself. But now they’ve determined that it’s of natural origin.

It was analyzed by Curiosity’s ChemCam, an instrument that uses a laser and spectrometer. Results showed the object is a very thin flake of rock. “False Alarm,” said the mission team, who had initially though they’d found some kind of interesting object on the surface of Mars.

Object - Search - Past - Life - Mars

Although it turns out that this object isn’t related to the search of past or present life on Mars, Curiosity has made...
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