Nasa: Mars object part of rover

A small bright object detected on Mars is likely to be a piece of plastic from the Curiosity rover, Nasa has said.

The six-wheeled craft captured an image of the puzzling object on Monday after scooping up Martian sand and dust over the weekend.

The space agency said in a statement that the plastic part that fell off the rover is "benign".

While plans are continuing to positively identify it, Nasa says it is not "Martian material".

Curiosity will continue taking pictures of its surroundings as the project team decides the next move.

Curiosity landed in an ancient crater in August on a two-year mission to determine whether the environment was ever favourable for microbial life.

It started driving toward its first science destination after a month checking out its instruments.