NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has found an unusual and brilliant lump on the surface of the Red Planet.
Researchers believe the object "could be a meteorite because it's so bright," according to a NASA blog.
The space probe of the Mars Science Laboratory, the most technologically advanced rover ever built, landed on a crater on August 5, 2012.
Since then he has been busy working on his mission to determine if the Red Planet was ever – or is habitable – in microbial life.
The rover is the size of a Mini Cooper and is equipped with 17 cameras and a robotic arm containing instruments and instruments specialized in the laboratory.
And one of those cameras captured the unusual gold object.
In an update of the mission blog, Suzanne Schwenzer, a member of the team, joked that Rover "chased bright things!"
Loaded an image taken by the ChemCam of the rover of the unknown object: "target Little Colonsay, a potential meteorite".
ChemCam emits a laser and analyzes the composition of vaporized materials from areas less than 1 mm on the surface of rocks and Martian soils.
It also uses lasers to remove dust from Martian rocks and a remote camera to capture extremely detailed images.
Schwenzer explained that of four samples recently taken for analysis, "one of the samples we have [will] try to take a look at 'Little Colonsay'.
"The planning team thinks it could be a meteorite because it's so bright, but the looks can be deceiving and the proof will come only from chemistry.
"Unfortunately the small goal was lost in the previous attempt, and with information from this, Curiosity will still try."
The result comes on the heels of a "small post-holiday accident" after Thanksgiving, when the robotic arm of the rover "set off a safety limit".
However, arm activity was recovered, allowing researchers to undertake a series of scientific observations regarding the rocky substratum of Mars, including meteorite research and monitoring changes in wind and sediment movement.
This week, Rover researchers welcomed the new Martian neighbor, NASA's InSight spacecraft, which landed on Monday.
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The spaceship arrived on Mars after a dangerous supersonic dive through the red sky that took only six minutes.
The spacecraft opened its lens cap on its instrumental context camera (ICC) yesterday, and captured a new clear vision of Mars.
NASA said that the ICC "has a fisheye view, creating a curved horizon.
"Some fragments of dust can still be seen on the camera lens One of the spaceship's footpads can be seen in the lower right corner." The box of the seismometer cable is located in the corner. top left. "
The first snapshot of the InSight surface after landing was a speckled image of dust, which showed a mostly smooth and sandy terrain around the spaceship, with only a noticeable rock visible.