Curiosity breaks rock to reveal dazzling white interior
2013 03 25

By Paul Rincon | BBC News

A rock crushed under the Curiosity Mars rover’s wheels has dazzled mission scientists in more ways than one.

Mars is supposed to be the Red Planet, but the rock - dubbed "Tintina" - is a brilliant shade of white.



The unusual colour indicates the presence of hydrated minerals that formed when water flowed through the robot’s landing site in ancient times.

Water-bearing minerals in Tintina and elsewhere add to the growing catalogue of water evidence at this location.

Rover team members have been presenting mission findings at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in The Woodlands, Texas.

It was also announced that the rover has suffered another computer glitch; Curiosity had already been recovering from a memory problem discovered earlier in the month.

The description of hydrated minerals at Gale Crater follows an announcement last week that Curiosity had found clay minerals in a rock it had drilled. These clays indicate formation in, or substantial alteration by, neutral water.

That is significant for showing that conditions on the Red Planet could have supported life in the distant past, because many rocks studied previously were probably deposited in acidic water.

Speaking here in The Woodlands, near Houston, chief scientist John Grotzinger described Curiosity’s landing site as the first truly habitable environment found on Mars.

"What we’re really excited about is that this is the first time we’ve been able to follow through with a whole suite of different measurements that really demonstrate the place we found at Gale Crater was a very viable, habitable environment," he told BBC News.

Prof Grotzinger added that the team "felt really good" about the Martian location.

The one-tonne Nasa rover has been exploring Gale Crater, near the Martian equator, since touching down in August 2012. It drove over Tintina on 17 January, breaking it open to expose the dazzling white interior.

[...]

Read the full article at: bbc.co.uk








Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »