Curiosity rover finds something odd while digging in the sand

Close-up view of the mystery object found by the Curiosity rover. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Only a few days after starting to take soil samples for the first time, the Curiosity rover has had to put its activities on hold temporarily. Mission scientists noticed something unusual in the latest images taken of the area where the rover had been digging – a small bright object on the sand. What is it?

The first possibility is that it is a piece of something that fell off the rover itself, as has happened before in previous missions. It looks tiny in the initial images, so difficult to make any determinations.

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Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which is a chronicle of planetary exploration. He also publishes The Exoplanet Report e-paper. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now also currently write for AmericaSpace and He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, has been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.