Here’s a Strange Rock That Perseverance Shot With its Laser – Universe Today

has been busy recently.  After testing its out, taking the primary sound recording ever on the Pink Planet, and dropping off its helicopter sidekick, now it has the chance to on its major mission: stare at some rocks.  And sometimes zap them with a laser.

That laser is a part of the Supercam system we reported on beforehand.  It sublimates a part of a rock with its laser. The gasoline given off by the sublimation is then analyzed by spectroscopic cameras onboard the .  That spectroscopy of the smoke emitted by the rock helps decide what the rock is definitely made out of.  

Image of the SuperCam laser and spectroscopy system that Perseverance uses to analyze rocks.
Picture of the SuperCam laser and spectroscopy system that Perseverance makes use of to research rocks.
Credit score: CNES

Just lately, the rover got here throughout a singular rock that piqued its scientific group’s curiosity.  They duly zapped the rock with a laser, and Perseverance posted an image of the now barely extra pockmarked rock on its Twitter feed.  

The rover even challenged its followers to attempt to discover the extra pockmarks created by the laser, which Twitter consumer @justpaladone and quite a lot of others managed to do in replies to the primary tweet.

One other Twitter consumer, Nicolas Worth, identified the similarity between the rock Perseverance is researching and one discovered by Alternative in 2005 now referred to as the Warmth Defend Rock. That rock turned out to be a meteorite fabricated from 93% iron, and was the primary meteorite discovered on one other planet. 

Image of the Heat Shield Rock that Opportunity found in 2005.  It was actually the first meteorite ever found on another planet.
Picture of the Warmth Defend Rock that Alternative present in 2005. It was really the primary meteorite ever discovered on one other planet.
Credit score: NASA / JPL / Cornell

Whether or not or not Perseverance blasted a doable meteorite with a laser remains to be up for debate, and it’s in all probability going to be awhile earlier than any outcomes from the Supercam mission will likely be launched.  Till then Perseverance will proceed blasting rocks and patiently ready for its winged pal to take flight, which ought to occur within the coming weeks.

Study Extra:
UT – Since Perseverance is Trying to Life, What Will it Be In search of?

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