Weird 'Hood Ornament' Spotted On Mars - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Weird 'Hood Ornament' Spotted On Mars

YAHOO.COM - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has photographed a shiny, metallic-looking object that bears a passing resemblance to a door handle or a hood ornament.

The Curiosity rover has not stumbled onto evidence of an ancient civilization that took the family van to Olympus Mons for vacation, however. The object is simply a rock that the wind has sculpted into an interesting shape, scientists said.

"The shiny surface suggests that this rock has a fine grain and is relatively hard," Curiosity scientists wrote Monday (Feb. 11) in an explainer blurb accompanying the image, which was taken on Jan. 30. "Hard, fine-grained rocks can be polished by the wind to form very smooth surfaces."

Similar "ventifacted" (wind-eroded) rocks can be found here on Earth, notably on the dry, gusty plains of Antarctica, they added.

The newfound rock is not the first shiny object Curiosity has photographed on the Red Planet.

In October, the car-size rover paused its first soil-scooping activities to investigate a bright sliver lying on the ground nearby. Scientists think the scrap is a piece of plastic debris that shook loose during the robot's dramatic sky-crane landing on the night of Aug. 5.

Later in October, Curiosity spotted bright flecks in one of the holes it dug out while scooping. That material appears to be some sort of native Martian mineral, as does the so-called "Mars flower," which garnered a lot of attention after Curiosity photographed it in December.

While such finds may be interesting to laypeople and researchers alike, Curiosity has bigger fish to fry. The rover's main task is to determine whether its landing site — a huge crater called Gale — could ever have supported microbial life.

Curiosity carries 10 different scientific instruments and 17 cameras to aid in this quest, along with other tools such as a rock-boring drill. Curiosity used this drill to collect samples for the first time over the weekend, boring 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) into a Red Planet rock in a move that had never been done before on another planet.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:38 PM EST2017-11-23 02:38:39 GMT

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>
  • Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Thursday, November 23 2017 4:01 PM EST2017-11-23 21:01:52 GMT

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>
  • Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:41 PM EST2017-11-23 03:41:53 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, November 22nd

    Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, November 22nd

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 5:24 PM EST2017-11-22 22:24:30 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, November 22nd.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, November 22nd.

    >>
  • Commission alerted to review allegations against TripAdvisor

    Commission alerted to review allegations against TripAdvisor

    Thursday, November 23 2017 1:07 AM EST2017-11-23 06:07:07 GMT

    BOSTON (AP) - The Federal Trade Commission could take action against TripAdvisor after the Massachusetts-based travel company was accused of deleting hotel reviews that contained allegations of rape and other crimes. Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts but the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down. The Boston Globe says after the report was published Democratic Wi...

    >>

    BOSTON (AP) - The Federal Trade Commission could take action against TripAdvisor after the Massachusetts-based travel company was accused of deleting hotel reviews that contained allegations of rape and other crimes. Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts but the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down. The Boston Globe says after the report was published Democratic Wi...

    >>
  • The Latest: States investigate Uber over massive data breach

    The Latest: States investigate Uber over massive data breach

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:22 PM EST2017-11-23 02:22:06 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on the data breach at Uber (all times local):  6:30 p.m. More U.S. states say they're investigating Uber over the ride-hailing company's massive data breach.    Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, sent a letter Wednesday telling Uber to notify customers if their personal information might have been affected and demanding that the ride-hailing company make changes to protect data.    Massachusetts Attorney ...

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on the data breach at Uber (all times local):  6:30 p.m. More U.S. states say they're investigating Uber over the ride-hailing company's massive data breach.    Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, sent a letter Wednesday telling Uber to notify customers if their personal information might have been affected and demanding that the ride-hailing company make changes to protect data.    Massachusetts Attorney ...

    >>