The Curiosity rover has located a potentially rare meteorite composed of iron and nickel on Mars.
As Universe Today reports, the find has not yet been confirmed by NASA, but the object appears to have a metallic sheen and indentations that appear consistent with a descent through the Martian atmosphere.
This observation is based on an image which was taken by Curiosity around the area known as Mt. Sharp on January 12.
Experts have also pointed out the appearance of three small white dots on the object's surface which are believed to be from the rover's tool to analyze the material in rocks.
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If a metallic composition is found, it would be consistent with the small number of other iron-based meteorites previously located on Mars.
New Scientist notes that "strangely, all of them have been made of iron despite the fact that, on Earth, 95 per cent of meteorites are stony."
According to NASA, "Iron meteorites typically originate as core material of asteroids that melt..."
These fragments have been documented on Earth and Mars, but the two planets' environmental conditions are suspected of playing a role in shaping them differently.
NASA had previously confirmed Curiosity's discovery of another iron-nickel meteorite called 'Egg Rock' in November 2016.