APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

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APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:06 am

Image Metal on the Plains of Mars

Explanation: What has the Opportunity rover found on Mars? While traversing a vast empty plain in 2005 in Meridiani Planum, one of Earth's rolling robots on Mars found a surprise when visiting the location of its own metallic heat shield discarded last year during descent. The surprise is the rock visible on the lower left, found to be made mostly of dense metals iron and nickel. The large cone-shaped object behind it -- and the flank piece on the right -- are parts of Opportunity's jettisoned heat shield. Smaller shield debris is also visible. Scientists do not think that the Mars, but rather is likely an ancient metallic meteorite. In hindsight, finding a meteorite in a vast empty dust plain on Mars might be considered similar to Earth meteorites found on the vast empty ice plains of Antarctica. The finding raises speculations about the general abundance of rocks on Mars that have fallen there from outer space.

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islader2

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by islader2 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:22 am

:? Too much coincidence that an Earth object and a space object could be found so close to each other. Sorry==I can not buy it. Thanx. :?

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by Beyond » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:51 am

islader2 wrote::? Too much coincidence that an Earth object and a space object could be found so close to each other. Sorry==I can not buy it. Thanx. :?
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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by bactame » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:00 am

Looks like a couple of crushed beer cans in center of image.

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by Ann » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:18 am

Humans litter everywhere! It's no excuse that space litters, too!

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by alter-ego » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:51 am

bactame wrote:Looks like a couple of crushed beer cans in center of image.
Kind of reminds of of the Earth analogy: A tipped over backhoe with beer cans around it..
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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by hstarbuck » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:32 am

Don't mean to be nitpicky, but shouldn't it read "discarded the previous year during descent"? Last year would be 2010.

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by Benbrilling » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:45 am

Well, if it's a meteorite, where's the crater?

fraserwhitbread

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by fraserwhitbread » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:03 am

It's not enough for us to litter earth, we have to litter other planets as well. Maybe we should keep our junk here at home and learn how manage our own world properly before we head to other ones.

Wasinger

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by Wasinger » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:00 am

I know it looks like a meteorite but how do you know it's composition? Huh, Jerry? How?

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by neufer » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:28 am

Benbrilling wrote:
Well, if it's a meteorite, where's the crater?
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=24549
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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:22 pm

Oh my! An accident on Mars and no insurance. Better call the tow truck. :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by nstahl » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:26 pm

Wasinger wrote:I know it looks like a meteorite but how do you know it's composition? Huh, Jerry? How?
They examined it. Read about it here. As for where the crater might be, it's probably long gone; remember Mars has atmosphere and dust and dust storms. And freezing and thawing that can bring buried things to the surface.

The negativity that shows up here sometimes doesn't add anything worthwhile.

rguyg

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by rguyg » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:22 pm

nstahl wrote:
Wasinger wrote:I know it looks like a meteorite but how do you know it's composition? Huh, Jerry? How?
They examined it. Read about it here. As for where the crater might be, it's probably long gone; remember Mars has atmosphere and dust and dust storms. And freezing and thawing that can bring buried things to the surface.

The negativity that shows up here sometimes doesn't add anything worthwhile.
So true; I grow tired of lame comments. But the meteorite looks to me, smaller than a basketball; like a football without the ends. Judging by the rivets and the grains of sand.

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by bystander » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:26 pm

hstarbuck wrote:Don't mean to be nitpicky, but shouldn't it read "discarded the previous year during descent"? Last year would be 2010.
It's a repeat (as most Sunday's are) and the caption didn't get updated.
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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by neufer » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:37 pm


Art Neuendorffer

hpfeil

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by hpfeil » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:40 pm

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07269

The Rover already did a spectral analysis of the meteorite to discover its composition. You can see the debris from its impact in the larger images at the above site. Low angle of incidence?

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by moonstruck » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:44 pm

nstahl wrote:
Wasinger wrote:I know it looks like a meteorite but how do you know it's composition? Huh, Jerry? How?

They examined it. Read about it here. As for where the crater might be, it's probably long gone; remember Mars has atmosphere and dust and dust storms. And freezing and thawing that can bring buried things to the surface.

The negativity that shows up here sometimes doesn't add anything worthwhile.


Don''t worry. School will start back soon :wink:

saturn2

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by saturn2 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:06 pm

A meteorite of iron and nickel on Mars.
A device earthly of Opportunity rover on Mars.
Is it a encounter nearby of type 3 ? :)

davidgin50

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by davidgin50 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:21 pm

Gosh!, why all the aggressively unpleasant posts?

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by alter-ego » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:30 pm

davidgin50 wrote:Gosh!, why all the aggressively unpleasant posts?
Well, the APOD shows a crash scene on Mars (a god of war)... Maybe it's fitting?

Seriously, the forum goes through cycles of postings that have an antagonistic feel. Remember, writing openly can lead to misinterpretations. Agreed, some posts are hard not to interpret as intentionally unpleasant, but they are not always that way.
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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by Wolf Kotenberg » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:39 am

Perhaps a visit to the Viking lander sites would also reveal things, maybe even some stunning things. I remember a DonalDuck cartoon that showed Pluto bringing a bone he had dug up, for Huey, Louey and Dewey. the next frame showed a crossection of theyr house and showed a gigantic dinosauer skeleton just a few more feet down. You never know. We need to send a John Deere backhoe to Mars.

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Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:36 am

nstahl wrote:As for where the crater might be, it's probably long gone; remember Mars has atmosphere and dust and dust storms. And freezing and thawing that can bring buried things to the surface.
A meteorite that size would not produce a crater. Depending on the nature of the ground it landed on, there might be a small impact pit, but the weathering mechanisms you list would rapidly eradicate such a feature.
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wasinger

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by wasinger » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:29 am

davidgin50 wrote:Gosh!, why all the aggressively unpleasant posts?
Sorry guys, I was trying to be silly - guess that didn't come across very well in print. jerry and I were undergrads together at OU.

jdj17

Re: APOD: Metal on the Plains of Mars (2011 Jul 31)

Post by jdj17 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:14 pm

My only question is, who's going to clean that mess up?