It is composed of iron and nickel, and due to its colors it was nicknamed ‘Cacao’.
NASA has announced that the Curiosity rover found a meteorite 30 centimeters wide at the end of January.
Iron and nickel meteorites are regularly found on Earth and Mars (in the case of the red planet they were also found by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers).
The experts of the Curiosity program associated the colors of the rock with a chocolate drink, and for that reason they nicknamed it ‘Cacao’, indicated from NASA.
Rock. Rock. Rock. Rock. Rock. Rock. METEORITE! It’s not uncommon to find meteorites on Mars – in fact, I’ve done it a few times! (see 🧵) But a change in scenery’s always nice. This one’s about a foot wide and made of iron-nickel. We’re calling it “Cacao.” pic.twitter.com/I37HiGjN2t
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) February 2, 2023
To determine the chemical composition, the rover uses laser pulses to vaporize the material, which is then analyzed with the built-in ChemCam spectrometer.
Curiosity landed in the 154-kilometer-wide Gale Crater in August 2012 on a search to determine whether the area might have supported Earth-like life long ago.
His work, over the past decade, has provided an affirmative answer to that question, revealing that Gale was home to a system of potentially habitable lakes and streams in the very distant past.