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Rover Curiosity sees more shiny objects on Mars

While scooping up soil samples the new Mars rover saw more shiny objects that haven't been identified yet.
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1 of 13 NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

When NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, stopped to sample a scoopful of Martian soil its cameras recorded a tiny, shiny object on top of the soil. Another  shiny object had been found days before and was identified as possibly a piece of debris that came from the spacecraft. But more shiny objects have been spotted confirming that the newer ones are likely to be native to Mars.

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2 of 13 NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image shows the three scoop marks made on the Martian surface by Curiosity's digging tool. The second scoopful of soil was discarded after one of the shiny objects was discovered in the sample. The nearest hole on the left was the first sample, the one above it was the second and the one to their right was the third.

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3 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

The earlier object was spotted from this photo which showed the ground where Curiosity's second scoop of soil was taken. The object is hard to find but it's in the clump of dirt near the top right of the photo.

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4 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

This may remind you of a character from South Park but it actually shows the 3-inch particle tray used to help filter the samples for testing.

The first sample of soil "about as big as a baby aspirin" according to NASA is now being analyzed.

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5 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

As the Mars rover Curiosity prepared to take its first soil sample,  scientists scoured the photos it took and discovered a shiny object laying on top of the planet's surface. Upon further study NASA scientists believe that it's something that fell off Curiosity, such as a piece of plastic.

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6 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

After enhancing this image of the first one-half-inch shiny object, NASA determined that it might be debris that fell from the spacecraft during its Mars landing.

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7 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Prior to Curiosity's encounter with shiny objects, it examined this rock and hit it with two laser blasts.

NASA describes:

"The circular black and white images were taken by ChemCam to look for the pits produced by the laser. The purple circles indicate where the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer trained its view. "

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8 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Here is Curiosity's first journey.

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9 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Looks can be deceiving. Here's a look at a tire track where Curiosity stopped and then moved backward. A budding controversy?

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Here's are some older "evidence" that many believed indicated there was life on Mars.

From the above image some sleuths discovered the mystery that's on the next page.

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11 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

In 2008, A blowup section of an image from the Mars rover Spirit shows what looks like a person perched atop a rock on Mars. The image, shown here, was grabbed from panoramic images taken by Spirit November 6-9, 2007.

A NASA spokesman said that the "man" on Mars is actually "a 2-inch sedimentary rock that has been eroded by the wind."

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12 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

n 1976, one of the first images from the Viking 1 spacecraft showed a formation in the Cydonia region of Mars that NASA said resembled a human face. NASA scientists quickly interpreted the image as having been caused by the angle of the sun and the resulting shadows. But that didn't prevent claims that the "Face on Mars" proved there was intelligent life on the Red Planet.

The European Space Agency's Mars Express, equipped with its High Resolution Stereo Camera, revisited Mars' most famous feature in 2006.

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13 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Zooming in on the "face" resolves the mystery. The ESA describes it as a "remnant massif thought to have formed via landslides and an early form of debris apron formation. The massif is characterized by a western wall that has moved downslope as a coherent mass."

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