Saturday, December 1, 2018

Alien Trash?

The Gizmodo site reports the older Mars rover named Curiosity has uncovered an unusually shiny rock which looks like it melted and then cooled. They’re calling it a probable meteorite, but I’m not so sure.

Meteors don’t fly through space blazing hot, they heat up via friction coming down through Earth’s atmosphere at high speed. Mars has less gravity and much less atmosphere; is there enough to melt a meteor into a shiny glob that nevertheless isn’t so molten as to splatter when it hits?

It would seem to require an awfully specific set of conditions to deposit a shiny molten object on a non-pristine surface without it becoming coated with embedded debris. I’d like to hold open the possibility of some other etiology. Possibly it passed near enough the sun to become molten, then hardened in the vacuum of space while traveling out to the orbit of Mars.