Meridiani Planum, one of Earth's yearling rolling robots found a surprise when visiting the location of it own metallic heat shield discarded last year during descent. The surprise is the rock visible on the lower left, found to be made mostly of dense metals iron and nickel. The large cone-shaped object behind it -- and the flank piece on the right -- are parts of Opportunity's jettisoned heat shield. Smaller shield debris is also visible. Scientists do not think that the basketball-sized metal "Heat Shied Rock" originated on Mars, but rather is likely an ancient metallic meteorite. In hindsight, finding a meteorite in a vast empty dust plain on Earth meteorites found on the vast empty ice plains of Antarctica. The finding raises speculations about the general abundance of rocks on Mars that have fallen there from outer space.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Mars - meteorit
Publications with words: Mars - meteorit