Remember last week when NASA landed its InSight probe successfully on Mars? Well it’s only been on the 4th planet from the Sun for about a week, and it’s already sending back some astonishing photos of a flat plain region near the Martian equator, Elysium Planitia.
This region is a broad plain that lies to the south of a volcanic province of Mars, Elysium, and that’s the second largest volcanic region on the planet after Tharsis.
This photo was taken and published by NASA recently.
(Image credit: NASA)
However even more interesting perhaps,a different, veteran NASA rover that has been on Mars since 2012 recently shared an extremely compelling new photo.
The Curiosity rover which has now been on the red planet for 6 years took a photo on November 26, showing an extremely anomalous shiny object laying right there on the dusty, red Martian ground.
Of course people think it’s interesting and want to speculate about the possibility of it being some alien object or proof of life on Mars. For some reason some articles want to crush that possibility immediately, with one reading “Could it be aliens? Nope, sorry, it’s almost certainly not any sign of extra-terrestrial life.”
They named the object “Little Colonsay,” and researchers working on the project say that in order to figure out what the strange rock is really made of, they will attempt to analyze a sample of it.
(Image credit: gizmodo)
“The planning team thinks it might be a meteorite because it is so shiny. But looks can deceive,” said a person from NASA’s Southern California Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. “Chemical analysis is required to confirm its nature.”
How is it even possible, that a rover they landed on Mars 6 years ago can perform a chemical analysis at the will of people on Earth right now? Well if the official narrative is to be believed, the Curiosity rover has a quite interesting method of carrying out chemical analysis.
With its “ChemCam” instrument attached to the rover, it shoots a laser at the material and then proceeds to examine the resulting vaporized material, to get a grasp of what it is made of.
For an example of this science in action, in November 2016 a sample was discovered to contain a composition of nickel and iron using the method.
With the Curiosity rover, researchers have documented a few suspected meteorites on the surface of Mars. Just earlier this year in 2018, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped an absolutely intense photo of a colossal meteorite impact on the 4th planet.
One scary thing about if humans were to somehow be able to live on Mars, is the fact that meteorites often fall straight into the planet without so much as breaking up in the atmosphere. Mars’ atmosphere possesses only about 1 percent of the atmospheric pressure as our own atmosphere, so there isn’t much stopping meteorites from hitting the ground intact.
(Image credit: cnn)
Theoretically, someone could get hit in the head from a small meteor in the sky on Mars.
In addition, the meteorites that tend to hit Mars are different from the ones we see on Earth. Only about 4.4 percent of the ones found on Earth are composed of iron, while most of them are more rocky. However on the red planet, iron meteorites are by far the most common.