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NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds More And More Shiny Objects on Mars

NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds More And More Shiny Objects on Mars

October 21, 2012 - When NASA's Curiosity rover found a shiny object on Mars last week, researchers believed it was just part of the rover. But now, the rover has found more bright objects in Mars' soil, leading NASA officials to believe it is something native to the planet.

NASA sent commands to Curiosity Monday to take a third sample of soil from Mars to learn more about the shiny objects.

"Confidence for going ahead with the third scooping was based on new assessment that other bright particles in the area are native Martian material," NASA said in a statement. "One factor in that consideration is seeing some bright particles embedded in clods of Martian soil."

The first sample taken on Oct. 7 found a shiny object that they determined was a piece of the rover. During the second scooping on Oct. 12, more bright objects were found in a hole made by the scooping, leading researchers to believe this is something native to mars.

"At that point when they first saw the bright particles in the hole created by the second scoop they weren't sure what they were," NASA spokesman, Guy Webster, told

Sources and more information:

Curiosity Rover Ingests Shiny Object on Mars

The robotic arm on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity delivered a sample of Martian soil to the rover's observation tray for the first time during the mission's 70th Martian day, or sol (Oct. 16, 2012). (NASA JPL-Caltech MSSS) NASA's Curiosity "ingested its first solid sample" of soil on Mars for analysis, the U.S. space agency said Thursday.

Um, What's That Bright, Shiny Thing Curiosity Just Found on Mars?

A close-up of the small pit created when the Curiosity rover collected its second scoop of Martian soil. The bright particle near the center -- which resembled similar ones elsewhere in the pit -- were determined to be native Martian material rather than, as was first thought, spacecraft debris. Curiosity's on-board analytic instruments will use...

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