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Curiosity Rover discovers mysterious chunk of 'alien' metal on Mars

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
February 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Curiosity Mars Rover has discovered a strange chunk of twisted metal on Mars, but NASA scientists aren't sure what it is, and they may not investigate it. Curiosity snapped the image on January 30, and the metal object appears to stick out of the ground by about a half-centimeter.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The discovery of exposed metal on Mars is amazing because the planet is covered in rust, ergo it is known as the red planet. Long-exposed metal should be rusted. Despite the astounding nature of the discovery, NASA scientists haven't said they will investigate it yet because they are busy drilling holes, looking for proof that liquid water once flowed on the planet.

There are multiple sources that could explain the origin of the metal. The most likely explanation is that it is a piece of a meteorite. Meteorites composed of iron ore are common in the solar system and have been known to people on Earth since ancient times. Finding an iron meteorite on Mars then, would not be too much of a surprise, although seeing it in pristine condition, sans rust, would be.

Alternatively, the metal could have shed from the Curiosity's landing system and embedded itself in the ground, however this appears unlikely because the ground does not show any evidence of a recent disturbance. It is not yet understood if the metal has been found along the possible debris path of the landing rover.

It that is true, then it would technically be alien in origin, because on Mars, we're the aliens.

NASA scientists have also hypothesized that it could simply be a chunk of exposed iron ore, native to the planet. Again, such exposed ore would eventually rust. Also worth asking, why is this the only piece of exposed metal NASA has observed in the better part of a decade of roving the surface of Mars?

Elisabetta Bonora of Alive Universe Images, has reviewed the image, and taken into account the number of pixels the metal takes up and combined with the distance from the rover, suggests the chunk could actually be up to a foot long underneath the surface.

Let's hope NASA makes the detour to study the enigmatic object. It would be a shame after all the trouble we went through to get there to leave it a mystery for generations to come.

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