Since it first landed on Mars in 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover has made major discoveries in search for life on the surface of Earth’s next-door neighbor. But seemingly not to be outdone by the historic Mars InSight probe landing, Curiosity recently made an intriguing find.
The Curiosity team posted an update to its mission blog last week, revealing a shiny lump found sitting on the surface of the otherwise dusty planet’s surface. They’ve nicknamed the mysterious, lustrous object “Little Colonsay.” The rover snapped a close-up of the object with its ChemCam on Monday.
“The planning team thinks it might be a meteorite because it is so shiny,” Susanne Schwenzer, a member of the Curiosity team, wrote. “But looks can deceive, and proof will only come from the chemistry.”
Curiosity’s ChemCam includes a camera, spectrographs, and a laser capable of helping NASA analyze the composition of rocks and soil from other planets. The rover hasn’t yet begun its investigation into Little Colonsay, but is scheduled to do so soon. Members of the Curiosity team hope to be able to determine whether the shiny Martian object is a meteorite or something more.