Unuasually bright soil on Mars

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Unuasually bright soil on Mars

This is an interesting article from Nasa....

What is this bright soil on Mars?

Several times while rolling across Mars, the treads of the robotic rover Spirit have serendipitously uncovered unusually bright soil. Spirit uncovered another batch unexpectedly last month while rolling toward its winter hibernation location on McCool Hill.

The physics and chemistry instruments on Spirit have determined the soil, shown above, contains a high content of salts including iron-bearing sulfates.

A leading hypothesis holds that these salts record the presence of past water, with the salts becoming concentrated as the water evaporated.

Here is more on the topic...

While driving eastward toward the northwestern flank of "McCool Hill," the wheels of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit churned up the largest amount of bright soil discovered so far in the mission.

This image from Spirit's panoramic camera (Pancam), taken on the rover's 788th Martian day, or sol, of exploration (March 22, 2006), shows the strikingly bright colors and large extent of the materials uncovered.


mars-soil.jpg - 79.76kb
By netchicken: posted on 8-4-2006

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