Martian sand strongly puzzled scientists

06.02.2004

06.02.2004


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Mars rover Opportunity has analyzed the composition of the Martian soil. Specialists NASA using "slide" produced macroscopic capture the planet's surface, and published pictures

Mars rover Opportunity has analyzed the composition of the Martian soil by airborne spectrometer. Yesterday, NASA experts with "microscope" produced macroscopic capture the planet's surface, and published pictures.

The contrasting black and white image shows the unique composition of the Martian soil. Attracted the attention of scientists unusual form of "sand", indicating that the surface of Mars could have formed from particles of cooled lava and further stratification of soil around them.

Portion of the surface of Mars, who was photographed with "microscope" was 3 cm in diameter. The combined color image was produced using an orange filter and dust covers.

Scientists have suggested several hypotheses for the origin of round particles. According to one of them, the particles could "overgrown" buildup, if rolled over time in water. Such stones are called oolites. However, this can hardly be oolites — Martian soil around too little of these stones, while, moreover, are often present in oolite gas bubbles are not visible in the pictures.

According to another theory, the particles can acquire faired if they were formed by meteorite. During the re-entry of the meteorite fragments break off, which it reached the surface, "are ground" of gas which it forms. Another theory explains the spherical shape of the soil particles by a volcanic eruption. Small pieces of lava cools, may acquire a round shape. These "stones" are called lapilli. So far, none of the theories has not received documentary evidence, reports Lenta.ru.

05.02.2004

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