NASA's Curiosity rover finds 'Cacao’, a special Meteorite on Mars
The iron-nickel space rock named 'Cacao’ was found on Mars by NASA’s Curiosity.
It's not uncommon to find meteorites on Mars. In fact, NASA's Curiosity Rover has done it a couple of times already. But this one is special as it is made of iron nickel. This unique meteorite is known as “Cacao”. NASA's Curiosity Rover discovered an iron-nickel meteorite on January 28, 2023 on Mars. The meteorite, estimated to be around 1 foot or 30 cm in size, was found in the sulfate-bearing unit of Mount Sharp. This is just one of several meteorites Curiosity has come across during its exploration of the Red Planet.
Why are NASA scientists studying meteorites? To learn details about how our solar system evolved into the planets we see today and how meteorite impacts could affect our future.
Tech behind the image of metal Meteorite on Mars
The panoramic image was captured by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) using a 100-millimetre lens. The final image is a composite of 19 separate pictures that were pieced together after transmission to Earth. The colour was adjusted to simulate Earth's lighting conditions as seen by the human eye.
NASA explained that the image is made up of six individual images captured by Mastcam's 34-millimeter focal length lens. After that, these images are combined together and were sent back to Earth.
More about NASA's Curiosity Rover
NASA's Curiosity Rover is a car-sized robotic rover that was launched by NASA in 2011 as part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. The rover's primary goal is to explore the Gale Crater on Mars and determine if the planet has ever had the right conditions to support microbial life. Curiosity is equipped with a suite of scientific instruments and cameras that allow it to analyze the Martian soil, rocks, and atmosphere. The rover also has the ability to drill into rocks and collect samples for further analysis.
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