October 26, 2021

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The Curiosity rover discovers a mysterious stone arc on Mars

The Curiosity rover discovers a mysterious stone arc on Mars

The Curiosity rover, while in a transitional zone between mud and sulfur, was able to capture Picture of a small stone arch that seems to be defying the wind and Mars dust. The stone is a few centimeters long and could provide some answers to the question of whether life existed on the planet at some point in its history.

Curiosity continues to search for ancient life

It was the rover’s mission Analyze the mineral composition of the soil, discover potential traces of water and collect meteorological data for Determine if the environment is conducive to the emergence of life.

So, curiosity Equipped with two small laboratories and a sampling drill, which allows the analysis of organic and mineral components. It also has a laser system for studying rock formation remotely called ChemCam.

currently, You are examining a transition area Among what scientists call clay unitIt is an area rich in clay minerals and sulfur units.

NASA specialists explain that sulfates, such as gypsum and Epsom salts, generally form around water when it evaporates, which is further evidence of how the climate and life prospects They changed about 3 billion years ago. Both areas point to a possible watery past In the area, conditions that would have supported microbial life in antiquity.

atypical rock structure

Abigail Freeman, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, described the discovery as A particularly whimsical picture of an interesting rock texture.

It’s amazing, says the geologist, Appreciable texture, especially the spread of bumps and bumps about one centimeter in size that stick out from the bedrock.

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For Gwenel Carabaca, Research Engineer at the Laboratory of Planetary Science and Geodynamics in Nantes, France, The structure is particularly helpful to pareidolia. Some people think they see a snake, others a horn, and some are a strain of DNA, but it’s certainly the result of differential erosion in the disturbed rock.

According to Michelle Minnette, a planetary geologist at Framework, the surrounding rocky landscape shows Gale Crater a dusty and windy place.

small stone arch It is made of some corrosion-resistant materials. ChemCam will analyze the chemistry of these resistant nodules, in order to determine what distinguishes them from the bedrock in which they are located.

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