Martian discovery boggles scientists

Rock suggest planet may have had conditions for life

NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2004, has finally reached a distant crater named Endeavour—and the first rock it examined there already has scientists cheering. The rock contains zinc and bromine, which on Earth would suggest geology formed by heat and water, the New York Times reports. In a telephone conference, principal investigator of the rover mission Steven W. Squyres said the rock “doesn’t look like anything else we’ve seen before.” Opportunity, and its twin rover Spirit, have already found evidence of liquid water that may have made ancient Mars intermittently habitable, although that water was highly acidic, like sulfuric acid. Scientists will want to get a look at clay deposits on the planet, since clay forms with liquid water.

The New York Times


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