Image of the day: Curiosity blasts lasers at Martian rocks

Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars rover Curiosity is certainly keeping busy. During its stay on the red planet, part of its mission is to blast rocks with a laser and then grab images of that process via an onboard camera called ChemCam. The idea is that if Curiosity finds anything interesting on ChemCam’s footage, scientists can make decisions about where to focus future investigations of the planet’s surface. When hit with a laser, the Mars rocks generate sparks. From those sparks, the ChemCam uses spectroscopy to determine what chemicals are present in them.

This new image actually shows the sparks coming off its specified rock target.

Source: Universe Today

Author: Robin Burks

Robin Burks is the author of Zeus, Inc. and The Curse of Hekate, as well as the owner of FanGirlConfessions.com. When she's not writing about geek culture, science or technology, she's usually watching Doctor Who or playing video games. She also occasionally speaks French, but not very well.

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