Saturday, February 9, 2013

Photo of Metal Object Taken By Curiosity

NASA's Martian Rover Curiosity's photo of strange metal object.

Metal object enlarged and enhanced.


The Martian rover Curiosity has discovered a shiny piece of dark metal,  found protruding from a rocky area on the red planet's surface.   The photo certainly peaked 'my curiosity', so I decided to enlarge and enhance the object in the image provided by NASA.

If you will notice in the full image, there appears to be tire marks, one of which shows up very well.  At first glance, I had figured out what that shiny piece of metal is!  Any biker can tell by the clues in the photo, that it's a part that fell off of a Harley Davidson motorcycle!  A foot-peg.

Seriously, what has NASA spent billions, perhaps trillions of dollars on Mars missions, if they don't plan to investigate something like a piece of metal found in a rock-strewn Martian landscape?   "Oh yeah, a piece of metal.   Whoopee.   Probably just a chunk of meteor, or metal ore that happens to look like a door handle.   Rocks are so much more interesting."   Not!

Just where is the curiosity in the Curiosity science team?   Hold on, it's coming to me... "ignore the obvious."   It's an unusual piece of flotsam in a sea of dirt and rock, nothing more.   Gotcha!   Carry on.
-Sunny Williams


Curiosity rover discovers strange piece of metal on Mars The Curiosity rover on Mars has been keeping itself quite busy lately, most recently boring into Mars’ red surface in order to find signs of life. However, in its downtime, the rover likes to take a lot of photos, including self-portraits, but this time around, Curiosity came across a strange chunk of metal sticking out of the ground? What could it be?

The photo was snapped on January 30 using one of the rover’s MastCam cameras to get shots of the landscape, and it ended up getting this odd piece of metal in the frame. NASA’s scientists aren’t 100% sure what it is, but they think it may be a chunk from a meteorite, or possibly a chunk of ore that became exposed by some sort of erosion.

It’s said that the object is only a half-centimeter tall, so it’s extremely tiny compared to how big it looks in the image. NASA hasn’t said whether or not it will check out the piece of metal, or if they’ll just ignore it and continue on with their planned experiments. After all, they do have more holes to drill.

However, while some think it’s simply a tiny piece of metal, Elisabetta Bonora of Alive Universe Images, mentions that the hunk of metal takes up about 35 pixels in the image. Taking into account the camera’s resolution and the distance between the rover and the object, the size of the chunk of metal may actually be larger than just 0.5 cm — it’s possible that it’s up to a foot tall. At this point, we’ll never know, unless NASA decides to investigate, but it’s very possible they just might let it be and continue on as scheduled.

Link to photo


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