Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sands of Mars: Hint of Hawaii





Oct. 31, 2012: New results from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity show that the mineralogy of Martian soil is similar to weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii.

The minerals were identified in the first sample of Martian soil ingested recently by the rover. Curiosity used its Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument to analyze the sample.

"Our team is elated with these first results from our instrument," said David Blake of NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., who is the principal investigator for CheMin.  "They heighten our anticipation for future CheMin analyses in the months and miles ahead for Curiosity."

Mars Minerals (xray, strip)
The first x-ray crystallography view of Martian soil. Obtained by the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment on NASA's Curiosity rover, these data reveal crystalline feldspar, pyroxenes and olivine mixed with some amorphous (non-crystalline) material. The soil sample is similar to volcanic soils in Hawaii. [more]

More - Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/31oct_hawaii/

Source: NASA Science News.

gaw

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