Friday, November 02, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #80 - Part 3

And Another Thing 1: "Shiny" things found on Mars

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has found some bright stuff on the Red Planet, scientists say.

Curiosity had been taking some scoops of Martian soil and dumping them out - this was to clean the scoop of anything that might have been carried from Earth before they started to analyze anything with it - and the scientists stopped at one point because they saw something on the ground that turned out to be a piece of plastic that had broken off the lander on landing. So they dumped out what was in the scoop because they saw this shiny stuff in there and thought it might be other debris from the lander.

Turns out, it's not. There are little bright things that are actually part of the Martian soil. The scientists don't quite know what they are yet. So that's probably one of the first things that they're actually going to be examining. Since they've decided this is of Martian origin they're going to take a scoop of this stuff and dump it on a plate that's going to be taken inside the rover to be chemically analyzed. And they they're going to take another scoop for a different sort of analysis.

So Curiosity's mission has barely started and the scientists are already finding things we didn't know were there.


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