Feeds

Rover spots 'possibly artificial' MYSTERY SHINY OBJECT on Mars

Might be a piece of Curiosity, speculates NASA

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.