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Mars rover finds surprising rock, nuzzles it and shoots it with lasers

The rock is not like other rocks seen on Mars. It has more sodium and potassium.

This NASA image from Mars Curiosity's Mast Camera taken on September 22 and released October 11 shows where NASA's Mars Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as 'Jake Matijevic.'

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Reuters

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The firstĀ rockĀ nuzzled by NASA'sĀ MarsĀ Curiosity rover is turning out to be a bit more unusual than scientists thought it would be.

Curiosity used its robot arm to touch at a football-sized pyramid-shapedĀ rockĀ for the first time two weeks ago. It also shot theĀ rockĀ dozens of times with a laser.

The results surprised scientists. They said Thursday that it is not like otherĀ rocksĀ seen onĀ Mars. It has more sodium and potassium.

Scientist Edward Stolper said theĀ rockĀ is more like rare volcanicĀ rocksĀ seen on Earth in places like Hawaii. ThoseĀ rocksĀ are formed under high pressure, deep underground and once contained water.

Scientists don't know how old the MartianĀ rockĀ is.


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