Here is another strange, anomalous object photographed on the surface of Mars by the Curiosity rover. The picture was taken on Earth date January 30, 2013 and presents a real mystery. The shiny protuberance is small -- about .05 cm tall or smaller -- and appears to be embedded in the rock from which it juts. So it is certainly not from the rover itself. Its shininess implies that it is of metallic composition. So these are the possibilities:
- It is a naturally formed nugget of metal. Surely, metals must have formed on Mars in the same way they have formed on Earth during its creation and evolution. The rock, being worn away by wind and sandstorms, exposed this more durable vein of metal.
- It is an artificial, manufactured, probably ancient metal object of unknown origin and purpose that became embedded in the strata of Mars soil, which turned to rock, and the object was revealed again by natural forces of wind and erosion.
So which is it? Certainly, we have to admit that the former is more likely, although the latter is far more fun to contemplate.
What's more mysterious, perhaps, is NASA's indifference to such objects. They don't seem interested at all. As far as I know, possible metal veins of this kind have not been found on Mars. I would think this is an object -- whether natural or artificial -- worth investigation and analysis by Curiosity's many on-board tools. Don't you?