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Mars has darkish inexperienced panorama too, discovers NASA rover

Mars has darkish inexperienced panorama too, discovers NASA rover


New York, Aug 26 (IANS) Not simply pink rocks and craters we noticed within the well-liked science fiction movie ‘The Martian’ starring Matt Damon, Mars has a number of volcanic rocks composed of enormous grains of olivine — the muddier less-gemlike model of peridot that tints Hawaii’s seashores darkish inexperienced, NASA’s rover Perseverance has found.

Perseverance landed within the Jezero Crater, a spot chosen partly for the crater’s historical past as a lake and as a part of a wealthy river system, again when Mars had liquid water, air and a magnetic area.

What the rover discovered as soon as on the bottom was startling. Rather than the anticipated sedimentary rocks — washed in by rivers and accrued on the lake backside — most of the rocks are darkish inexperienced in nature, in response to researchers from Purdue University within the US.

“We began to grasp that these layered igneous rocks we have been seeing look totally different from the igneous rocks now we have as of late on Earth. They’re very like igneous rocks on Earth early in its existence,” mentioned planetary scientist Roger Wien within the examine revealed within the journals Science and Science Advances.

Understanding the rocks on Mars, their evolution and historical past, and what they reveal concerning the historical past of planetary situations on Mars helps researchers perceive how life could have arisen on Mars and the way that compares with formative years and situations on historical Earth.

“One of the explanations we do not have a terrific understanding of the place and when life first developed on Earth is as a result of these rocks are principally gone, so it is actually exhausting to reconstruct what historical environments on Earth have been like,” mentioned Briony Horgan, affiliate professor in Purdue’s College of Science.

“The rocks Perseverance is roving over in Jezero have kind of simply been sitting on the floor for billions of years, ready for us to return take a look at them. That’s one of many causes that Mars is a vital laboratory for understanding the early photo voltaic system,” he added.

The rocks and lava the rover is inspecting on Mars are practically 4 billion years outdated.

Rocks that outdated exist on Earth however are extremely weathered and overwhelmed, because of Earth’s energetic tectonic plates in addition to the weathering results of billions of years of wind, water and life.

On Mars, these rocks are pristine and far simpler to analyse.

Scientists can use situations on early Mars to assist extrapolate the surroundings and situations on Earth on the identical time when life was starting to come up.

“From orbit, we checked out these rocks and mentioned, ‘Oh, they’ve stunning layers!’ So we thought they have been sedimentary rocks,” Horgan mentioned.

“And it wasn’t till we have been very shut up and checked out them, on the millimeter scale, that we understood that these should not sedimentary rocks,” he added.

(Except for the headline, the remainder of this IANS article is un-edited)

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