The meteorite could give vital information on the history of the solar system.
NASA’s rover currently roaming the surface of Mars, has found a rare iron-nickel meteorite that’s thought to have fallen from the skies of the red planet.
The Curiosity discovered the strange “egg rock” which is the size of a golf ball using a spectrometer and has now been confirmed as a meteorite commonly found on Earth. The researchers say it isn’t unusual to find this on Mars either but as it’s the first discovery of its kind, it can be examined with possible new revelations and understandings of the workings of the solar system.
“Iron meteorites provide records of many different asteroids that broke up, with fragments of their cores ending up on Earth and on Mars,” Dr. Horton Newsom, a researcher from the University of New Mexico, said in a statement. “Mars may have sampled a different population of asteroids than Earth has.”
Dr Newsom works with the team that controls Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument used to identify objects on its mission. It’s this that identified the meteorite by analyzing the rock’s chemical composition using a laser.
The meteorite was discovered in an area called the Murray formation in lower Mount Sharp and Curiosity will continue to explore the area in order to further understand Mars’ environment and analyse whether or not life could once have been prevalent on the planet.
As for the meteroite dubbed “Egg Rock”, researchers will continue to look at ChemCam data and compare it’s external surface chemistry with its internal composition. This will hopefully shed new light on the mysteries of the solar system.