Curiosity Finds a Meteorite, Cacao
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured this image of an iron-nickel meteorite nicknamed "Cacao" on Jan, 28, 2023, the 3,725th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. This meteorite, discovered in the "sulfate-bearing unit," a region on Mars' Mount Sharp, is estimated to be about 1 foot (30 centimeters) across. It's one of several meteorites Curiosity has seen while exploring Mars.
Curiosity's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, took the panorama with its 100-millimeter focal length lens. The panorama is made up of 19 individual images that were stitched together after being sent to Earth. The color has been adjusted to match lighting conditions as the human eye would perceive them on Earth.
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.
Curiosity was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California. JPL leads the mission on behalf of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego built and operates Mastcam.