Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NASA Mars Rover Finds Mineral Vein Deposited by Water

'Homestake' Vein in Color
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'Homestake' Vein in Color
This color view of a mineral vein called "Homestake" comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU
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December 07, 2011
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has found bright veins of a mineral, apparently gypsum, deposited by water. Analysis of the vein will help improve understanding of the history of wet environments on Mars.

"This tells a slam-dunk story that water flowed through underground fractures in the rock," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for Opportunity. "This stuff is a fairly pure chemical deposit that formed in place right where we see it. That can't be said for other gypsum seen on Mars or for other water-related minerals Opportunity has found. It's not uncommon on Earth, but on Mars, it's the kind of thing that makes geologists jump out of their chairs."

MORE: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-377&cid=release_2011-377&msource=11377&tr=y&auid=9976954

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