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What is the mass of the Heat Shield Rock meteorite on Mars? Shouldn't it have left a crater when it hit? Instead, it looks like it is just sitting "passively" on the surface as if gently placed there.

Dennis Barnes, Seneca, South Carolina
RELATED TOPICS: METEORITES
The Heat Shield Rock is the first meteorite found on another world.

In early January 2005, on the 339th martian day (each day is a “sol”) of its mission, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity discovered a nickel-iron meteorite on the surface of Mars’ Meridiani Planum. It was the first meteorite found on another planet. Because the meteorite lies near the rover’s discarded heat shield, the MER team dubbed it Heat Shield Rock. (Its formal name is “Meridiani Planum,” but many scientists use its informal name.)

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