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Curiouser and Curiouser: NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Piles of Silica on Mars

MULTIZ321

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Curiouser and Curiouser: NASA's Curiousity Rover Finds Piles of Silica on Mars - by Bill Chappell/ America/ The Two-Way: Breaking News from NPR/ NPR/ npr.org

"In a finding that suggests "considerable water activity" on Mars, NASA says its Curiosity rover has found very high concentrations of silica on the red planet. The agency says it also found "a mineral named tridymite, rare on Earth and never seen before on Mars."

The discoveries took place on Mount Sharp, where Curiosity drilled into a rock called "Buckskin" to find the tridymite, and where it used its "ChemCam" laser to measure high silica levels. The odd findings led researchers to take the rare step of ordering Curiosity to retrace its path to learn more..."

curiosity-rover_wide-16dee1ad1723c6b4e687b1b0dd99d9a056729ab0-s800-c85.jpg


After it drilled two holes in the "Buckskin" rock on Mars, the Curiosity rover took a series of photos that were turned into this panoramic self-portrait. The rover is sitting on the crest of a 20-foot hill.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Richard
 

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Mars 'X-Ray' Gravity Maps Reveal How Its Crust has Changed - by Timothy J. Sappala/ Latest in Science/ Engadget/ engadget.com

"The red planet has a liquid outer core made of molten rock, too.

Our lust for Martian knowledge (and travel) isn't showing any signs of stopping and now we've gotten a look inside the planet thanks to new X-ray-like gravity maps. NASA says that it now has a better idea of where to land its spacecraft thanks to the new data. The gravity map also rocks a resolution upgrade that works to explain some of the Red planet's more peculiar surface features.

The trio of satellites orbiting Mars were able to estimate the thickness of its crust, how it's changed over time and determined that the planet's liquid outer core is made of molten rock, too. That bit of knowledge is the result of "analyzing the tides in the Martian crust and mantle caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the two moons of Mars," according to Phys Org..."

northmars.jpg

NASA


Richard
 
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