This communicative is portion of Welcome to Mars, our bid exploring nan reddish planet.
Here's a reminder Earth isn't nan only satellite with cool meteorites. Mars gets its stock of incoming abstraction rocks too. NASA's Curiosity rover discovered a beauty of a specimen successful nan Gale Crater successful precocious January.
The stone -- named "Cacao" by nan rover squad -- stood retired from nan surrounding landscape. "The stone we are parked successful beforehand of is 1 of respective very dark-colored blocks successful this area which look to person travel from elsewhere, and we are calling 'foreign stones,'" wrote Curiosity squad personnel Ashley Stroupe successful a rover update connected Jan. 27. "Our investigations will thief find if this is simply a artifact from elsewhere connected Mars that conscionable has been weathered successful an absorbing measurement aliases if it is simply a meteorite."
A person investigation revealed nan shiny, dark-gray pockmarked entity is simply a meteorite. "Rock. Rock. Rock. Rock. Rock. Rock. METEORITE!" the rover squad tweeted connected Thursday, saying it's not uncommon to find meteorites connected Mars, but that a alteration successful scenery is ever nice.
According to NASA, nan meteorite is made of iron-nickel, making it a type of meteorite besides commonly recovered connected Earth. It's a good-sized object, measuring successful astatine astir a ft (30 centimeters) wide. It's larger than a potential meteorite spotted by Curiosity earlier successful January.
NASA took nan juncture of nan caller meteorite find to look backmost connected immoderate different awesome finds, including meteorites called "Egg Rock" and "Lebanon" (an absolute portion besides known arsenic The Beast). These show conscionable really adaptable nan sizes of meteorites tin beryllium connected Mars.
Meteorites aren't conscionable a point of nan past connected nan reddish planet. NASA's precocious defunct InSight lander picked up the sound of abstraction rocks crashing into Mars successful 2020 and 2021.
Curiosity has been driving astir nan Gale Crater since 2012 arsenic it seeks to understand whether the reddish satellite mightiness person erstwhile been habitable for microbial life. Along nan way, it's opened a wealth thorax of otherworldly sights. The recently identified meteorite is 1 of those objects that's some fantastical and familiar. Our planets are very different, but we person galore shared experiences, including abstraction rocks.