back to article ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial

NASA's Curiosity rover has stumbled across a massive iron meteorite half buried in the sands of Mars – an object the US space agency has dubbed Lebanon. The Lebanon meteorite found by Curiosity The Lebanon meteorite found by Curiosity The two-metre-wide rock was discovered by the Martian robot on May 25. It was …

  1. Youngdog

    Don't mean to be a cynic but...

    ...doesn't the lack of erosion rule out the chance of any life-sustaining oxygen-rich atmosphere in Mars's relatively recent geological history?

    1. mr.K

      Re: Don't mean to be a cynic but...

      I am pretty sure Mars' current geology rules that out.

    2. Mark 85

      Re: Don't mean to be a cynic but...

      According to some Congress Critters, Mars is just like Earth as far as atmosphere and climate. Maybe we should send them to check out the rock... and no spacesuits since it will be just like home.

    3. Bunbury

      Re: Don't mean to be a cynic but...

      Call me old fashioned but I don't believe you need an oxygen rich atmosphere for erosion. Any old gas and a bunch of sand will do the job. I believe there's a degree of that on Venus.

      1. Caesarius

        Oxygen Re: Don't mean to be a cynic but...

        I'm sure oxygen would speed things up considerably.

        I liked the explanation of how an oxy-acetylene cutter works: it turns the iron into rust, and blows it away.

    4. Faye Kane, homeless brain

      Re: Don't mean to be a cynic but...

      If there was EVER an oxygen atmosphere on Mars, it would still be there. But there is essentially none in the nearly-pure CO2 air.

  2. Martin Gregorie

    I saw the announcement and spiffed up photo on this morning. Its now item 2 of 6 on the Whats New list.

    If you go to Mission:Where is Curiosity and look at the map for day 637 you can see where the meteorite was found.

    To see the photos taken by Curiosity, go to Multimedia|Raw Images and look at those taken on day 637 by the Navcams and day 640 by ChemCam and Mastcam.

  3. Vector

    That's not a rock...

    it's just an old tarp someone left lying around in the Wyoming desert.

    ...'cause we've never been to the Moon.

    ...and we've never been to Mars.

    (Hey! where'd the black helicopter go!?)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That's not a rock...part deux...

      Its an eggshell fragment!

      And that's not a crater you're exploring--ITS A FOOTPRINT!!!

      1. Fink-Nottle

        Re: That's not a rock...

        ... it's a holy Martian relic.

        It is a gift from the Gods that fell from heaven on a column of fire. It has been worn smooth by the adoring mandibles and tentacles of untold millions of Martian worshipers.

    2. Captain Scarlet

      Re: That's not a rock...

      Well I can't just leave my Mysteron devices unprotected.

  4. Anonymous Blowhard


    I know there are some Olympic class stone throwers in the middle east, but this has to be a World (Solar System?) Record!

    1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

      Re: Lebanon?

      They find a cratered battle scarred relic in the sand, and name it Lebanon? Someone at NASA has a wicked sense of humour.

  5. channel extended

    Where is Deja Thoris when you need her?

    The is obviously the source of the iron in the tark swords.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Where is Deja Thoris when you need her?

      What...ahem....exactly do you need Deja Thoris for? When answering, keep in mind that this is a family-friendly publication!!

      1. Eltonga

        Re: Where is Deja Thoris when you need her?

        For explaining in detail how Tarks manufacture swords from iron based meteorites without help of forges, maybe?

      2. Faye Kane, homeless brain

        Re: Where is Deja Thoris when you need her?


        > this is a family-friendly publication!!

        You must be reading a different publication.

  6. Steve Knox

    Point of Order

    Every rock found on Mars is extraterrestrial.

    1. DaiKiwi

      Re: Point of Order


    2. xperroni
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Point of Order

      Every rock found on Mars is extraterrestrial.

      Beaten me to it. Of course the title is obviously exaggerated / misleading for humor purposes (or so we hope), but we can still wonder whether this particular misuse of "extraterrestrial" was intentional or accidental.

    3. frank ly

      Re: Point of Order

      Some rocks, that might be found on Mars, could have originated from early Earth especially during the formation of Luna and similar violent activities. So, they may be extraterrestrial now, but they didn't used to be. If these are ever identified, I propose that they be called ex-terrestrial rocks.

    4. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Point of Order

      It is extraterrestrial from your average Martian's point of view. 'Extraterrestrial' is merely an incomplete translation resulting from The Register's shameless use of Google Translate in ripping of the Martian Times' article about the rock.

    5. foo_bar_baz

      Re: Point of Order

      The parent word terrestrial, and grandparent terra also refer to land generically as well as planet Earth.


      So while you're right, I'd assert that "extraterrestrial" has come to mean specifically outside our planet only because the scope of human experience and by extension, thinking, is so narrow. If humans ever come to inhabit multiple planets I doubt we'd refer our Martian cousins as extraterrestrials. Extratellurians would be more appropriate.

      1. Fink-Nottle

        Re: Point of Order

        Terrestrial means Earth-like, hence there are four terrestrial planets in the solar system - Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

      2. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

        Re: Point of Order





        I like "offworlder". It covers just about everything that isn't autochthonic in origin.

    6. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Point of Order

      But what if its found to have come from Earth? Like some random ejecta from the collision that created our moon, or some other meteoric collision.

  7. Fibbles

    No matter how many of these sort of articles I read, I never cease to be amazed that I'm looking at photos taken on another f-ing planet!

    1. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

      "No matter how many of these sort of articles I read, I never cease to be amazed that I'm looking at photos taken on another f-ing planet!"

      Yes, sir! For really amazing images from *many* other planets, see the Cassini collection of images from around Saturn. 17 years from launch, ten years orbiting the planet and it still produces surprisingly lovely stuff.

      Oh, and have you noticed: We're in the frakken *21st* *CENTURY*!?

      That *still* gets to me.

    2. Faye Kane, homeless brain
      Thumb Up

      It's a pic from a notherfucking planet!


      > I never cease to be amazed that I'm looking at photos taken on another f-ing planet!

      I still feel that way every time I see an Apollo photo of the grey dirt and boulders. THAT'S THE *MOON* — the one in the sky, which is the same colour grey!

      As far as the 21st-century, yes I can't get over that, either. We're in The Future, and every single thing from the '64 World's Fair came true.

      It's like The Jetsons, except with unlimited porn substituted for flying cars.

      -faye kane ♀ girl brain

      sexiest astrophysicist you'll ever see naked

  8. Rhiakath Flanders

    Samurai sword? PFfft. Puny god..

    I wonder, if the guy that made the comment ever played Skyrim. You can't make samurais swords out of iron. You can't make samurai swords. period.

    At most, you'd make a iron sword, or a few iron daggers...

    1. Spotfist

      Re: Samurai sword? PFfft. Puny god..

      Ye that's EXACTLY what I thought, what is this Oblivion??? Might need some leather strips though for the sword, perhaps if they could find a Dwarven strut or two they could use the iron to make some Dwarven armour when they get their smithing to level 30... Man this Skooma is good stuff!

  9. Jonathan Richards 1


    Watch out for the Panserbjørne!

  10. xyz Silver badge

    Oi! careful with the headlines

    Arken over at ATS will probably have a heart attack (or orgasm or both) when he reads the above

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are many hilarious Mars conspiracy sites if you do a quick Google. Material like this will keep them going for years.

    Posting anonymously because most of those conspiracy nuts are a bit Scary crazy!

  12. Rhovanion

    Tenuous Star Wars Link

    Is it just me, or does the 'rock' in the foreground look somewhat like a weathered Jawa Sandcrawler?

    And seeing as I don't know the scale used in the photo, who can definitively deny that it isn't in fact a broken down Jawa Transportation Solution....?


  13. DanceMan

    There was a Kaboom!

    This is what's left of the last Mars invaders. Be warned.

  14. Domeyhead

    Question for *proper" boffins (I'm just a dilettante) - if we created a machine that liberated oxygen and nitrogen and pumped them into the Martian air to seed a "new" atmosphere - would the solar winds just carry it away into space again because Mars does not have a magnetic field? Just wondering how easy this planet seeding malarcky actually is.

  15. John Sturdy
    Black Helicopters

    Have they looked underneath?

    Perhaps it's an MI6 bluetooth (or similar) dead letter box, like the one in Moscow?

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