This small object got the Highlight of Mars Curiosity mission scientists . NASA say they were finally able to figure out what the strange fragment is.
Images show that an object that looks perhaps like masking tape or a piece of peeled off paint. Scientists initially speculated that the mysterious chunk, which they referred to as Pettegrove Point Foreign Object Debris, was a piece of spacecraft debris, or part of Curiosity itself. But now they’ve determined that it’s of natural origin.
It was analyzed by Curiosity’s ChemCam, Results showed the object is a very thin flake of rock. “False Alarm,” said the mission team, who had initially though they’d found some kind of interesting object on the surface of Mars.
Although it turns out that this object isn’t related to the search of past or present life on Mars, Curiosity has made significant discoveries recently. The rover reveals a water lake inside Gale Crater held all the ingredients necessary for life, including chemical building blocks and energy sources.
Curiosity is also observing the Martian atmosphere to monitor the current dust storm on Mars, which is now abating. The plutonium-fueled rover has been exploring the Mars surface since August 2012.