Saturday, January 16, 2021
Home Science & Technology NASA's Curiosity rover finds a Wide Variety of Minerals in Martian Rocks

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds a Wide Variety of Minerals in Martian Rocks

Orbital infrared spectroscopy shows that mountain's lowermost layers have variations in minerals

  • Curiosity landed near Mount Sharp in Gale Crater in August 2012 and it reached the base of the mountain in 2014
  • Orbital infrared spectroscopy had shown that the mountain’s lowermost layers have variations in minerals
  • At the base are minerals from a primitive magma source; they are rich in iron and magnesium, similar to basalts in Hawaii, the data showed

Washington, June 12, 2017: Examining initial samples of rocks collected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa) Mars Curiosity rover, scientists have found a wide diversity of minerals in the lowermost layers of Mount Sharp mountain, suggesting that conditions changed in the water environments on the Red Planet over time.

Curiosity landed near Mount Sharp in Gale Crater in August 2012. It reached the base of the mountain in 2014. Layers of rocks at the base of Mount Sharp accumulated as sediment within ancient lakes around 3.5 billion years ago.

ALSO READ: NASA Mars rover to Study an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater’s rim

Orbital infrared spectroscopy had shown that the mountain’s lowermost layers have variations in minerals.

“We went to Gale Crater to investigate these lower layers of Mount Sharp that have these minerals that precipitated from water and suggest different environments,” said Elizabeth Rampe of Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston who is the first author of the study.

“These layers were deposited about 3.5 billion years ago, coinciding with a time on Earth when life was beginning to take hold. We think early Mars may have been similar to early Earth, and so these environments might have been habitable,” Rampe added.

The minerals found in the four samples drilled near the base of Mount Sharp suggest several different environments were present in ancient Gale Crater, according to the study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

At the base are minerals from a primitive magma source; they are rich in iron and magnesium, similar to basalts in Hawaii, the data showed.

Moving higher in the section, scientists saw more silica-rich minerals.

In the “Telegraph Peak” sample, scientists found minerals similar to quartz. In the “Buckskin” sample, scientists found tridymite.

Tridymite is found on Earth in rocks that formed from partial melting of the Earth’s crust or in the continental crust — a strange finding because Mars never had plate tectonics.

In the “Confidence Hills” and “Mojave 2” samples, scientists found clay minerals, which generally form in the presence of liquid water with a near-neutral pH, and therefore could be good indicators of past environments that were conducive to life. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

A New Book About Women’s Self-Portraits

Jennifer Higgie — author of a new book about women's self-portraits to be published in March — on female artists whose depictions of themselves...

Seven Effective And Simple Ways To Use Aloe Gel

Aloe Gel has always been the talk of the town for its multi-tasking properties. Growing up, every skin or hair issue had one beauty...

How Dolphins Are Anchoring Chilika Lake Tourism Amid Pandemic

A dolphin jumps out of the brackish waters of Odisha's famed Chilika lake and is the cynosure for all eyes on a boat on...

One-To-One Communication Key To Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy

On the day of the launch of the massive immunization drive against Covid-19 that the country has embarked upon, Dr. B.L. Sherwal, Director at...

Regular Alcohol Drinking Linked To Risk Of Atrial Fibrillation

People who regularly drink a modest amount of alcohol are at an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats in...

How Can You Pay And Manage Your Bills With Online Banking

BY CATHY CARTER When you juggle your mortgages, utility bills, and credit card payments every month, using online banking to pay them off makes a...

Ashtottaram 33 OṀ BODHABHŨMYAI NAMAH

By Devakinanda Pasupuleti, MD Ashtottaram 33) OṀ BODHABHŨMYAI NAMAH: Ashtottaram 33: OṀ (AUM) -BO-DHA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA ॐ बोधभूम्यै नमः        (Bodha: Teaching knowledge, wisdom, the enlightenment of knowledge, values, knowledge,...

Study: Lack Of Managers Leads To Business Failures In India

Most firms in India and other developing countries are family-owned and often shun outside managers and that is why even successful businesses fail to...

Recent Comments