While climbing the slopes of Mount Sharp, NASA’s Curiosity rover took a photo of a peculiar object. Dubbed the “Egg Rock” by researchers at Arizona State University, the mysterious artifact is thought to have originated from the asteroid belt, which is relatively close to Mars in space distance.
What looks like a smooth mound of clay is actually a metallic meteorite, which scientists believe is made of nickel-iron. In a close-up view, Curiosity revealed the object also features deep grooves, suggesting the Egg Rock has experienced some harsh conditions in its time traveling through space.
Chances are the meteorite has been on the Martian surface for millions of years, free from oxidization and the effects of moisture and oxygen.
Curiosity never ceases to amaze
According to EarthSky, the thin atmosphere of Mars provides less friction for incoming space rocks, so meteorites found on the planet are typically in great shape.
What may look like a clump of dirt to you and I is a cosmic jewel to Curiosity. I wonder how many units Star-Lord could get for it.