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NASA finds huge meteroite on Mars, names it ’Lebanon’
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NASA finds huge meteroite on Mars, names it ’Lebanon’

Huge Meteorite on Mars Discovered by NASA’s Curiosity Rover

Talk about a speed bump. NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has discovered its first meteorite on the Red Planet, and it’s no puny space rock.

The newfound Mars meteorite, which scientist have named "Lebanon," is nearly 7 feet (2 meters) wide and made of iron. Photos of the meteorite taken by Curiosity also revealed a smaller companion nearby, which is now dubbed "Lebanon B."

"That ’Lebanon’ is huge, almost 7 feet," said NASA spokesman Guy Webster from the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. While NASA released a detailed photo of the Lebanon meteorites Tuesday (July 15), the Curiosity rover actually discovered the space rocks on May 25.

Webster said Curiosity also found a third meteorite at the same time it spotted the Lebanon rocks. In a raw, unprocessed photo from Curiosity, the third meteorite — which is also about 7 feet wide — can be seen just beyond the closer Lebanon meteorites.

"Heavy Metal! I found an iron meteorite on Mars," Curiosity’s handlers wrote on the mission’s Twitter page.

Altogether, the three meteorites are the first space rocks on Mars discovered by the Curiosity rover since it landed on the Red Planet in August 2012, Webster added.

Curiosity snapped detailed photos of the main Lebanon meteorite using its high-resolution Chem-Cam and Remote Micro-Imager cameras. The images revealed strange angular cavities in the surface of the rock.


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