NASA’s Curiosity rover has been especially curious recently, sending back photos that absolutely rock! Yes, that’s right, the Mars rover has found some interesting rocks and has been snapping away. The latest of these is a multiple photo composite of a meteorite dubbed “cacao”, named after the main ingredient for chocolate, naturally.
The meteorite is a metal mix of iron and nickel and was spotted by the rover at the end of January. It’s estimated to be around a foot across in size and is one of several such meteorites that Curiosity has discovered on the planet.
The image was taken using the rover’s ‘mast cam’ with its 100mm lens. Nineteen photographs were then composited together to create the image above. The color has been adjusted to match lighting conditions as the human eye would perceive them on Earth.
According to Science Alert, iron-nickel meteorites are the rarest kind, only making up around 6% of all meteorites found. Because of their unique composite, they are more likely to weather erosion and break up as they pass through the atmosphere, even on Mars. These meteorites can date back billions of years to the origins of the solar system.
NASA rovers and obiters are continually finding interesting subjects to photograph on their Mars explorations. Just recently, a photograph of what appeared to be a drawing of a giant teddy bear was spotted etched into the ground. Who says aliens don’t exist?