Scientists discovered that some rocks in Gale Crater included the chemical compound silica, as they reviewed data collected by the Mars Rover Curiosity.

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover continues to be roving on Mount Sharp that is lower through the Bagnold Dune Field. Curiosity is studying these sand dunes. Sand Dunes are not unusual on Earth, however this really is the very first investigation of a dune field on Mars.


Since it landed over three years ago in a 154.5-kilometer-wide depression known as Gale Crater, Curiosity rover has stumbled on intriguing discoveries that may help scientists piece together the puzzle of water formed, and after that froze or evaporated in the Red Planet.

The rock it fell upon were usually basaltic, a volcanic typical previously but for the very first time, Curiosity has in the past several months discovered an abundance of the rock-forming compound silica, a mineral composed of oxygen and silicon and, on Earth, typically deposited by water.

Silica is a mixture of oxygen and silicon, as stated by the researchers. On our planet the compound is usually seen by us as quartz. But additionally, it maybe discovered in several other minerals.

Curiosity science team member at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Albert Yen says, increase in the concentration of silica involves water which is possible by two geological processes. Understanding which of both procedures took place allows scientists to find out more concerning the primeval wet environments of Mars.

Curiosity rover examined a rock called “Buckskin” in its on-board chem lab. Silica comes in a variety of types, as well as the states can be told by this type when the rock became a rock.

Mars Research Scientist Dr. Elizabeth Rampe says, the mineral was tridymite which is rare on Earth and contains never seen before on Mars.

Tridymite usually found in large quantities expel by volcanoes. It maybe an evidence of rise of valcanoes on Mars. Or perhaps tridymite is formed with a procedure that is different says scientists that are examining the most recent findings from the rover.

Curiosity continues to be traversing a location of the Red Planet scientists call Marias Pass for seven months, close to the bottom of a mountain. There, the rover saw a light plot of land an old layer of mudstone, covered with a younger layer of sandstone. As The New York Times reported, the rover used a laser to recognize the rock’s composition, finding 90 percent silica than it’d seen everywhere on or around Mount Sharp. The rover has found the lakes that likely existed in the place billions of years past may have supported life.

In the meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Thursday, Dr. Ashwin Vasavada said that scientists have noticed the indicators of building blocks for life on Mars, according to Times.


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