The Mars rover Curiosity has arrived at its long-sought destination: Glenelg, a region where three types of geologic formations converge into a potential bonanza for scientists.
"Glenelg was conceptually a point that represented the three areas," John Grotzinger, project scientist for MSL at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told reporters today. "As part of understanding how those interrelate, we consider ourselves now to be in the promised land."
Now the rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is analyzing a scooped sample of dirt from a site inside Glenelg called Rocknest. This is a major step for the rover, whose ability to X-ray sand is a crucial part of its two-year mission.
To prepare, Curiosity rinsed its instruments with some dirt to ensure any Earthly contamination was removed.
In the process of scooping those mouthfuls, it spotted some bright material. One of the pieces turned out to be a piece of the rover itself, a shard of plastic that fell off but didn't cause any harm. But the other shiny things, including the object in the image above, are native to Mars.
There are two theories about what it is, Grotzinger said. It could be a type of mineral that breaks along a cleavage point, exposing a flat surface to sunlight; or it could be the result of some process inside the soil that results in certain minerals. Scientists "very much would like to study this," he said. The rover's laser eye will zap the shiny material within the next few days to get a sense of what it contains. Then Curiosity will continue exploring the Glenelg region, probably through the end of the year.
"...One of the pieces turned out to be a piece of the rover itself, a shard of plastic that fell off but didn't cause any harm..."
So a billion dollar robot sent to Mars, bits and pieces are falling off, and nobody seems to mind.
What is this, an outtake from a three Stooges episode as they drive their car down the road!
You know, in binary you cannot spell Glenelg backwards and equal the same word. Just in case, you were Curiosity and wanted to know.
I hope that shiny stuff turns out to be something of great interest to NASA and us. I would be so neat to find shiny Martian poop or something! Well, why can Martian poop be shiny, it is alien ya know. ;)
Strange the sand looks, and is clumping together like it is wet.
Could it be an ice crystal?
Yea, your right. I have seen this type of texture often as well. Great observation!
Crystal, anyone? Mars did have volcanoes...
Olympus Mons, Tharsis Mons... the Elysium plane volcanoes... Anybody? No? Okay...
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
I'm not saying it was aliens,....
It looks exactly like dirt, and they call it dirt.
But dirt is moist sand. And it looks moist.
And this is Mars.
And bits off the rover are calling off?
I'm confused. Why is the world so calm over all this?
That pic looks like my back yard for heavens sake!
And this is MARS.
There are other binding influences that water - static from sand on sand friction being high among them.
Also, liquid does not mean water - it means anyting in liquid form which is an exercise in material and temperature.
As for pieces - it was a strip of plastic - not a critical part, and is more likely from the lander than from the rover.
it is a native martian arrow head
Lately there was a news item where a tested moon rock was fake because it contained petrifide wood. -----------
Is earth dirt on mars mars dirt or earth dirt and when this dirt is collected on mars and brought back to earth does it become earth dirt or remain as mars dirt and then what if, by chance this sh*t ends up on the moon? Hmmmmmmmm
Is has been said the moon landing was done in a studio and there we some cameraman tried to make it obvious to the public.
Seems we have a pile of wet sand, little clay too, clumping together in the above picture. The picture is just fascinating to look at, from MARS, that is, lol! ;)