Monday, August 20, 2012

Curiosity Rover’s Laser Zaps First Martian Rock

The rover’s Chemistry and Camera instrument, known as ChemCam, blasted a fist-sized rock called “Coronation” with 30 pulses of its laser for 10 seconds on Sunday. Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second, according to a release. This energy turns atoms from the rock into an ionized, glowing plasma, which NASA can then analyze to determine the target’s elements.

via mashable

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