NASA thinks that a mysterious unidentified shiny object the Curiosity rover spotted on the Red Planet’s surface is just a piece of plastic that fell off the rover, the agency explained in an update late Tuesday. Here’s a close-up view of the object as taken by the rover’s Chemical and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, a laser-equipped camera. The image has been annotated by TPM. Original copy here.
As NASA said in its official statement:
The rover team’s assessment is that the bright object is something from the rover, not Martian material. It appears to be a shred of plastic material, likely benign, but it has not been definitively identified.
NASA said it would hold off on Curiosity’s scooping and sampling activities for another day while it continues its investigation using the rover’s mast camera (Mastcam).