NASA Says: We Found A Totally New Thing On Mars, Translation: We Found Some Different Rocks on Mars

It Came From Outer Space
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Here’s a shot taken by NASA’s Opportunity rover (you know, the one they didn’t abandon) of the surface of Mars, showing a few pieces of light colored rock. And you know what that means!

Punch that enough and you’ll wind up with a few blocks of dirt!

Well, actually it mean that Mars might be more habitable than we thought.

Basically, NASA thinks that these rocks may prove, under further analysis, to be phyllosilicates. Phyllosilicates form when there’s water around, but that’s not exactly news. There’s plenty of evidence floating around to indicate that Mars used to have lots of water on its surface, instead of trapped in ice at its poles.

These phyllosilicates, however, look like they’re the kind that don’t form in the more acidic water that theoretically made other samples found and analyzed by the Spirit rover five years ago. These phyllosilicates look like they formed in water that’s a bit more useful for consumption by humans, our technology, and other life forms.

Says Steve Squyres, Mars Exploration Rover principal investigator,

These are different from anything we’ve ever seen with either rover, a completely new thing on Mars, never seen anywhere. And we’re pretty charged up about it.

Anything that gets us one step closer to charging up there with actual astronauts is a plus in our book.

(via io9.)


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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.