Curiosity rover eats Martian dirt and finds unusual ‘bright particles’

One of the bright particles found by the Curiosity rover in a sample hole dug at Rocknest. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

For the first time since landing, the Curiosity rover has delivered its first soil sample to the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument, which is right now being analyzed to determine the mineral composition. The sample was successfully delivered to CheMin on October 17.

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Tatooine times two: Kepler space telescope finds a planet with four suns

Artist’s concepton of PH1 orbiting the two closest binary stars, with the second pair of stars farther out. Credit: Haven Giguere / Yale

Until recently, astronomers only knew about exoplanets which, like those in our own solar system, orbited a single star. Then, the first one was discovered which orbits two stars, much like Tatooine in the Star Wars films. Since then, other similar planets have been found, indicating that such circumbinary planets (those which orbit double stars) may be fairly common.

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