NASA's Curiosity Takes its First Scoop of Mars Dirt -- And Finds a Mystery Object (VIDEO)
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover sent an image more than 352 million miles back to Earth of its first scoop of Martian material.
The land was lifted from the ground yesterday is 1.8 inches wide and 2.8 inches wide, and in the process of scooping, scientists noticed a strange metallic object.
See also: - NASA's Curiosity Rover: Here's the New Hi-Res Video of the Mars Landing - Five Reasons You Should Pay Attention to NASA's Mission to Mars - Center for Science and the Imagination to Launch at ASU's Newest Interdisciplinary Building, ISTB4
The image--taken by the right Mast Camera during the mission's 61st Martian day--shows Curiosity's robotic arm's scoop full of sand and dust, waiting to be deposited inside its analysis unit. But, after looking closer at the photo, someone noticed that unusual bright piece.
The scooping operation was then halted and the rover was instructed to take a closer look of the object, which hasn't arrived yet to ground control.
Scientists note that as soon as the sample is analyzed and the object is identified (hopefully evidence of tool-building aliens and not an essential piece of the rover), more information will be released.
For more info, check out NASA's Mars mission page.
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the Phoenix art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.