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Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in Science |

Curiosity: Martian soil is similar to the volcanic sand found in Hawaii

Curiosity: Martian soil is similar to the volcanic sand found in Hawaii

So researchers have confirmed. The planet soil where the rover landed is similar to what we find in the volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii , a finding published a few hours ago and the last step in trying to understand if the environment on Mars could have been favorable for life microbial.

had “swallowed” recently its first soil sample using one of their tools to unravel the minerals present. An analysis has revealed that it contained feldspar and olivine, two minerals typically associated with volcanic eruptions. Scientists say Martian soil is similar to volcanic soil on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

The team is excited about these initial results. Quantitative results provide new identifications of minerals on Mars.

Earlier this month Curiosity picked up his first sample of Martian soil, it was in an area that NASA researchers believe a good place to study the terrain. With the first “evidence” of water flow on Mars in late September, this new discovery is another step in the mission, now aimed at finding other elements such as carbon in the soil or rock fragments for analysis.

According to NASA, the sample has at least two components: one part powder distributed, typical dust storms, and a native of the fine sand:

Much of Mars is covered with dust, and we had an incomplete understanding of their mineralogy. Now we know that is mineralogically similar to basaltic material, with significant amounts of feldspar, pyroxene and olivine, which was not unexpected. About half of the land is non-crystalline materials such as volcanic glass.

Anyway, this first work on Martian soil leads to results so far unknown, we show that the surface of Mars is similar to the weathering of volcanic soils in Hawaii.

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