See where NASA just zapped this odd Martian rock with a laser

On day 37 of its Martian mission (known as “sol 37”), the Perseverance rover zapped a curious, holey rock with a laser 10 times. 

It wasn’t for sport. The laser is part of the rover’s SuperCam, which looms atop the car-sized robot like a crow’s nest on a ship. From distances of over 20 feet away, a laser strike concentrates the power of one million light bulbs onto rocks and soil, producing flickers of light. These flickers are excited atoms, and the SuperCam analyzes this light to glean if a rocky target might have preserved past signs of Martian life  — like certain organic materials microbes may have once munched on. Read more…

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