Curiosity’s ChemCam Camera Finds Shiny Object On Mars

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NASA’s Curiosity rover is now back in business after some issues that it has been experiencing with its computer. It has discovered something pretty intriguing: a shiny object on the surface of Mars.

Curiosity’s ChemCam camera snapped images of the area around the rover and it will be looking at four samples in particular. Two of them have been targeted before as well, but experts want to go back and look at them closely.

One of these samples is Little Colonsay which is a shiny object that the NASA team thinks is a meteorite. Curiosity discovered meteorites on Mars before such as the one from back in 2014 when a shiny rock was believed to be an iron meteorite and in 2015 when a nickel-iron meteorite was examined as well.

Digital Trends notes that it’s pretty hard to tell what the Little Colonsay is just by looking at a few images and this means that the rover will have to go and gather a sample for chemical analysis before something clear can be said about it.

The ChemCam is more than a camera

The ChemCam tool is more than just a camera because it also allows chemical analysis by using instruments such a laser and a spectrograph which can provide more data about the whole makeup of an individual sample.

Digital Trends reports that the other three targets that Curiosity is targeting are a dark object called “Flanders Moss,” which scientists are unsure what to make of without chemistry information showing its composition, and two samples of grey bedrock called “Forres” and “Eildon.”

While the ChemCam is analyzing samples, Curiosity will not be standing idle, as the rover also needs to dump the sample that it had collected from the Highfield drill site by swinging its arm around and out of the way. The instruments on the rover can analyze the pile clearer.

There are other projects for the rover which include environmental observations, like a crater rim extinction, Master Camera or Mastcam to collect color video and pictures.


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