See that mysterious silver object in the picture above? That photograph was taken on the surface of Mars, and yet it sure doesn't look like a red rock. On January 30th, NASA's Curiosity rover snapped shots of the Martian landscape with each of its two MastCam cameras with this mystery object in the shot. NASA doesn't seem to have commented on the horn-like item yet, but theories currently include a meteorite that landed on the planet, or a piece of ore exposed by erosion of some sort.
Elisabetta Bonora of Alive Universe Images, who spotted the mystery object in Curiosity's photo database, notes that it takes up about 35 pixels in the frame. Given the camera's resolution of 150 microns per pixel at two meters distant, and what seems like quite a distance between the rover and the object, it could be relatively large... up to a foot tall, even.
It's been over a week since the picture was taken, and Curiosity's busy testing out its drill this week, but we wonder if NASA might send it back for a closer look one of these days.
Take a peek at the original image at our source links.