Feeds

Rover spots 'possibly artificial' MYSTERY SHINY OBJECT on Mars

Might be a piece of Curiosity, speculates NASA

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Martian nuclear tank Curiosity has spotted a bright metallic-looking object sparkling on the planet's surface as it went in for its first soil sample, which could be a piece of the robot rover itself.

Curiosity's first scoop also shows bright object

The rover was scooping sand for the first time with its robotic arm when its camera picked up on the object. NASA boffins have put a stop to any further Curiosity activity while the rover takes extra pictures to try to figure out what the mysterious, but tiny, thing could be.

Curiosity is set up to take soil samples so that it can run chemical and mineralogical tests and discover what makes up the Red Planet's surface. Looking at the chemical makeup of the dirt is just one of the ways that the rover's science instruments will analyse whether Mars has ever or could ever support microbial life.

The roving truck took its first scoop on Sunday and was due to take some more samples yesterday, but mission control called a halt to any robotic arm shenanigans until the bright object is identified.

NASA didn't speculate on whether instead of finding microbes, Curiosity has instead found a piece of an alien craft. The agency's only guess so far is that it could be a bit of the rover itself and they're holding up to see if its presence on the surface will muck up the soil samples. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.