Headlines > News > Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover

Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Aug 1, 2009 7:46 am via: source
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(NASA) – The Opportunity rover has eyed an odd-shaped, dark rock, about 0.6 meters (2 feet) across on the surface of Mars, which may be a meteorite.

The team spotted the rock called “Block Island,” on July 18, 2009, in the opposite direction from which it was driving. The rover then backtracked some 250 meters (820 feet) to study it closer.

Scientists will be testing the rock with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to get composition measurements and to confirm if indeed it is a meteorite.

This image of "Block Island" was taken on July 28, 2009, with the front hazard-identification camera on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

This image of "Block Island" was taken on July 28, 2009, with the front hazard-identification camera on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

3 Comments
durval
60cm of meteorite should weight enough to make a good-sized crater at its landing site, even with Mars' weaker gravity. Where is the crater? The above photo shows the supposed meteorite standing in perfectly smooth terrain...
Sigurd
The atmosphere on mars is a lot less dense than on earth and it could be millions of years old. It could have bounced/rolled into its current position (meteorites don't always go vertically) and or sandstorms (common on mars) could hide the impact scars. Or one of the many other possibilities is that the crater is larger and only visible from high above.
seyoumeye
...Or what they meant is a possible meteorite "fragment"?
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