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NASA Perseverance Mars rover investigates ‘odd’ rock, zaps it

187 Read — 01 April 2021 18:21
NASA Perseverance Mars rover investigates 'odd' rock, zaps it

NASA Perseverance Mars rover investigates ‘odd’ rock, zaps it

Scientists speculate the rock could be a meteorite or a far-flung chunk of Mars.

Mars is a haven for meteorites, and it’s always notable when a rover comes across one of these emissaries from space. Scientists are scrutinizing a holey rock spotted by NASA’s Perseverance rover that bears a resemblance to meteorites seen elsewhere.

NASA hasn’t declared what the rock is just yet, but the Perseverance team tweeted on Wednesday, “While the helicopter is getting ready, I can’t help checking out nearby rocks. This odd one has my science team trading lots of hypotheses.”

The rover team said the rock is about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long and told space fans to look closely at the image to “spot the row of laser marks where I zapped it to learn more.”

Perseverance is equipped with a rock-zapping laser designed to help it collect data on Mars geology. You can listen to the laser in action as heard by a microphone. “Variations in the intensity of the zapping sounds will provide information on the physical structure of the targets, such as its relative hardness or the presence of weathering coatings,” NASA said when it shared the laser audio earlier in March.  


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