A small, flat rock known as Coronation suffered the wrath of Curiosity’s laser when the Mars rover finally fired up its ChemCam instrument and delivered 30 pulses of energy at the rock over a 10-second period.
The laser pulses, each delivering more than 1 million watts of power for around 5 one-billionths of a second, turn some of the rock’s atoms into a glowing, ionized plasma. By analyzing the light from the plasma, the ChemCam’s three spectrometers can determine what elements are in the rock.
Pew pew. To be honest I was expecting an earth shattering ka-boom.