Curiosity Uncovers Mysterious Minerals

Curiosity Uncovers Mysterious Minerals

A manned flight to Mars remains a task that has not been taken on by anyone yet.

For now, we can only send robots for landing on the foreign planet.

Curiosity seems to have discovered something special on the Red planet.

Known as silica, this material is found on Earth as well.

What is interesting is that there has never been a sighting of silica before this instance.

Curiosity happened to discover this when passing a region named Marias Pass seven months ago.

It performed a mineral analysis using a ChemCam laser drill into the rocks.


Curiosity went up Mount Sharp as it went ahead.

However, NASA turned the rover around to send it back to investigate the Marias Pass even further.

Silica’s presence in the samples fascinated the scientists a lot.

Curiosity analyzed the sample which demonstrated concentration as high as 90 percent of silica.

This is still a considerable change than a sample that shows traces of silica only.

Curiosity checked different regions close to Marias Pass where a couple of sediment layers come together to determine the extensiveness of silica concentration.

There are many reasons why the presence of silica is quite significant.

Most important of all, this hints at the presence of water on Mars.

Given this information, we can safely assume that planet Mars has had large flowing rivers as well as lakes.

The dry lakes merely hint at the presence of water but hardly indicate if they were fit for consumption.

Researchers feel that the water might have been too acidic or salty to be safe for drinking.

Scientists continue to examine the data using Curiosity’s stop off based in Marias Pass to ascertain how silica could have gotten there.

Source: ExtremeTech