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

’We are not dead yet’: Heartbreaking text messages sent from schoolchildren trapped aboard South Korean ferry
2014 04 17
Passengers on board the South Korean ferry sent heartbreaking messages to their family members just moments before it sank. Children waiting to be rescued frantically reached for their phones as the boat began to list in a bid to communicate with their loved ones a final time. Twenty-four people, including five students and two teachers, have been found dead, but 272 are ...
"A world of pure imagination": How Occupy turned to anarchy
2014 04 17
In the closing ceremonies of London’s 2012 Summer Olympics, comedian Russell Brand, perched atop the Beatles’ "Magical Mystery Tour" bus, opened his performance by singing the first lines of "Pure Imagination" from the movie Willy Wonka: Come with me And you’ll be In a world of Pure imagination ...
Artists ’have structurally different brains’
2014 04 17
Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found. Participants’ brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery. The research, published in NeuroImage, suggests that an artist’s talent could be innate. But training and environmental upbringing also play crucial roles in their ability, the authors report. As in many areas ...
NSA-proof email service goes online
2014 04 17
A new email service that protects its users from the prying eyes of the NSA and other spy agencies has gone online. The service’s creators say it will make encrypted messaging accessible to all and curtail internet snooping. Germany-based Lavaboom was inspired by Lavabit, the encrypted email service that was believed to have been used by whistleblower Edward Snowden before it ...
Investigative Journalist Michael C. Ruppert Dead After Lifelong Struggle With Mental Illness
2014 04 17
We’re sad to hear the news about the death of Michael Ruppert. Rest in Peace. From Collapse Network, which is being constantly updated with new information: There is absolutely no doubt or question about it, Mike Ruppert took his own life. Rest in Peace, my brother. Wes Wesley T. Miller President & CEO Collapse Network, Inc. ******* I have been informed that MCR has committed suicide. I ...
More News »