Originally posted on Feb 6, 2013 10:48 EST.
Now THIS is really interesting!
The Curiosity Mars rover has found some strange-looking little things on Mars…Now the rover has imaged a small metallic-looking protuberance on a rock. Visible in the image above (the green lines point to it), the protuberance appears to have a high albedo and even projects a shadow on the rock below. The image was taken with the right Mastcam on Curiosity on Sol 173 — January 30, 2013 here on Earth — and was pointed out to us by Elisabetta Bonora, an image editing enthusiast from Italy.
Here is a closeup:
I have no idea. I’m not seeing any followup to this story after almost 24 hours but I expect it will be fodder for the mystery sites. I’m curious! If you find a link to anything more on this, please include it in the comments.
More strange stuff found by the Curiosity Rover:
UPDATE (11-Feb-2013) Universe today has an update. YAY!
Scientist Explains the Weird Shiny Thing on Mars.
It’s a knob, yes, says Ronald Sletten from the Mars Science Laboratory team, but a completely natural formation. Sletten, from the University of Washington, explained that, not surprisingly, it is actually a part of the rock that is different — harder and more resistant to erosion — than the rest of the rock it’s embedded in.
On Earth, as on Mars, “often you can see knobs or projections on surfaces eroded by the wind, particularly when a harder, less erodible rock is on top,” Sletten said, via an email to Universe Today from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory media relations office. “The rock on top of the projection is likely more resistant to wind erosion and protects the underlying rock from being eroded.”
As far as why it appears shiny, Sletten said, “The shiny surface suggests that this rock has a fine grain and is relatively hard. Hard, fine grained rocks can be polished by the wind to form very smooth surfaces.”
Finally, a decent explanation for this. Not QUITE as satisfying as actual metal and I do think more needs to be explained here but I was getting a little worried after nearly a week of no updates. I admit, I still like our ideas better. But I really didn’t expect it to be an actual water spigot…
Hat tip to @fortean_UK on Twitter