NASA's car-sized Mars rover named Curiosity has stumbled across an iron-nickel meteorite while exploring a region of Mars.
NASA has taken to its social channel and explained in a blog post on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website that the Curiosity rover found the iron-nickel meteorite on January 28, 2023, in a region around Mount Sharp, a large mountain located in the Gale crater. NASA has written on the Curiosity rover Twitter account that it's not "uncommon to find meteorites on Mars" and that this isn't the first discovery by Curiosity. In 2016 the rover discovered a meteorite now called "Egg Rock", or the golf ball.
As for the meteorite that Curiosity most recently found, NASA writes that its approximately 1 foot wide and has been named Cacao. The space agency explains that Curiosity snapped a panorama with its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, which features a 100-millimeter focal length lens. The panorama consists of 19 individual images that are then stitched together to form the above image. This image is then color corrected to "match lighting conditions as the human eye would perceive them on Earth," writes NASA.
"Figure A is Cacao as seen in Curiosity's shadow on Jan 27, 2023, the 3,724th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. It is made up six individual images captured by Mastcam's 34-millimeter focal length lens, then stitched together once the images were sent back to Earth," writes NASA.
For more space news, check out the weird vortex that spawned in around the Sun's north pole.