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NASA Curiosity Rover found diverse Minerals in Mars rocks

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The Mars and the Moon are the two planets that often remain in the news. Scientists have sent various space missions to both these planets to study their reality. They are of the view that life would become possible on these planets someday. NASA sent its Curiosity Rover to Mars in 2012. The main objective of this was to study the rocks. The study has revealed that different kinds of minerals are present in the layers of rocks. The presence of the minerals suggests that a lot of changes have taken place in water environment on the red planet.

The researchers have studied the Gale Crater. They say that the layers of Mount Sharp have accumulated as Sedimentary rocks over 3.5 billion years ago. This was the time when life was beginning on the Earth. It proved that the changes on the surface of the Earth and Mars took place at the same time and Mars was also habitable at that time. The variety of minerals found in the lower layers of the Mount Sharp was a result of precipitation of water with these minerals. At the base of these rocks are minerals rich in iron and magnesium. Around these are the rocks full of silica-rich minerals.

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The scientists have studied four different samples from “Telegraph Peak”, “Buckskin”, “Confidence Hills and “Mojave 2”. All the rocks have different kinds of minerals. The “Telegraph Peak” is rich in Quartz. “The Buckskin” sample shows the presence of tridymite which is also present on Earth. This tridymite forms as a result of melting of crust. But, the presence of this mineral on Mars is strange because there is no plate tectonics in Mars crust.

The samples from the remaining two rocks show clay minerals that form in the presence of water with neutral PH. The presence of water with neutral PH shows that the environment is ideal for living. Jarosite is also among the other minerals found on Mars surface. It proves the presence of acidic fluids at Mars surface at some point of time. The researchers have found many oxidized and reduced samples of minerals showing the occurrence of oxidation process at the Mars surface.

All this is enough to prove that Mars was once wet and cold. But now, it is dry and hot because whole the water is locked up in poles. Some water has changed to ice on the high latitudes. The research from Curiosity Rover proved that once the planet was habitable. The environmental changes have dried water on the planet and made it inhabitable.

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