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.
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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.