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Ksadfljsdhfj Essay

  • Submitted by: thunderfan35
  • on January 6, 2013
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 662 words

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Clays on Mars: More plentiful than expected
Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 15:37 in Astronomy & Space
The rover only detected acidic sulfates and has since driven about 22 miles to Endeavour Crater, an area of the planet Wray pinpointed for clays in 2009. The study is published online in the current edition of Geophysical Research Letters.
The project, which was led by Eldar Noe Dobrea of the Planetary Science Institute, identified the clay minerals using a spectroscopic analysis from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The research shows that clays also exist in the Meridiani plains that Opportunity rolled over as it trekked toward its current position.
"It's not a surprise that Opportunity didn't find clays while exploring," said Wray, a faculty member in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. "We didn't know they existed on Mars until after the rover arrived. Opportunity doesn't have the same tools that have proven so effective for detecting clays from orbit.
"It was also surprising to find clays in geologically younger terrain than the sulfates," said Dobrea. Current theories of Martian geological history suggest that clays, a product of aqueous alteration, actually formed early on when the planet's waters were more alkaline. As the water acidified due to volcanism, the dominant alteration mineralogy became sulfates. "This forces us to rethink our current hypotheses of the history of water on Mars," he added.
Even though Opportunity has reached an area believed to contain rich clay deposits, the odds are still stacked against it. Opportunity was supposed to survive for only three months. It's still going strong nine years later, but the rover's two mineralogical instruments don't work anymore. Instead, Opportunity must take pictures of rocks with its panoramic camera and analyze targets with a spectrometer to try and determine the composition of rock layers.
"So far, we've only been able to identify areas of clay deposits from orbit," said...

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  • Submitted by: thunderfan35
  • on January 6, 2013
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 662 words
  • Views: 152
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