NASA's Curiosity rover has stumbled upon a metallic meteorite early last week. The meteorite has several unique and unusual features.
According to Gizmodo, Curiosity has captured a detailed close-up shot of the meteor using the ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager. The meteorite was dubbed as "Egg Rock."
Arizona State University researchers suggest that the meteorite is made of nickel-iron. The iron meteorite likely originated from the planetary core of a planetesimal.
It likely came from the asteroid belt that is close to Mars. Though, the meteor rock looks like a discarded alien artefact with its unique features.
The meteor's surface looks unusually smooth like it was just recently polished. The meteorite also has deep grooves, which hints at classic weathering patterns and a possible time when the rock ball was still molten hot.
Though unique and unusual, meteorites of this kind is not an uncommon scene in Mars. The red planet's features make it an ideal place for Curiosity to discover metallic like meteorites.
According to EarthSky, it's not unusual to discover meteors like this on Mars' surface. This is due to small amounts of moisture and oxygen found on Mars' surface soils.
Meteor's that fall into Mars are more likely to remain in excellent condition for millions of years than on Earth. Mars is also closer to the asteroid belt, which makes it likely to be hit with more space rocks than Earth.
The factors indicated, combined with the red planet's thin atmosphere that provides less friction for falling space rock, may contribute to an abundance of meteorite found on Mars' surface. This makes the red planet a good place to look and explore meteorites.
The unique metallic feature of the meteorite that's also found contributes to the likelihood of these rocks surviving the entry into Mars, than lesser-dense objects. These metallic-like meteorites are likely scattered all around the red planet, waiting for Curiosity to discover them.