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White rock interior unveiled on Mars

Posted on Wednesday, 20 March, 2013 | Comment icon 26 comments | News tip by: seeder

Image credit: NASA

The Curiosity rover has broken apart a rock on Mars that has an unexpectedly brilliant white interior.

The image was returned after the rock was crushed by the rover's wheels when it ran over the top of it. Nicknamed "Tintina", the rock's colour indicates the presence of hydrated minerals that are thought to have formed by flowing water in the planet's distant past. The discovery adds to previous indications of water discovered when the rover drilled in a different rock a few weeks ago.

"This is one of the brightest and whitest things we've seen with the Mastcam at the Gale Crater site," said Caltech's Melissa Rice. "This rock, Tintina, has a very strong hydration signal that corresponds to all that white material we see inside the rock. This water is left over from a previous wet era and is now trapped and preserved in these hydrated minerals."

"A rock crushed under the Curiosity Mars rover's wheels has dazzled mission scientists in more ways than one."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (26)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by highdesert50 on 21 March, 2013, 2:33
Possibly more evidence of a wet past. So, are these geological finds more indicative of random hits of asteroids and comets than of a once large body of water? Is Curiosity equipped to determine if the isotopic composition of these samples varies from location to location on Mars? If so, then that insight might provide some evidence of more random and isolated hits of watery asteroids and comets. Alternatively, if a large body of water existed, perhaps there is yet hope that it can be found in some measurable quantity.
Comment icon #18 Posted by SYNAPSE on 21 March, 2013, 4:57
Comment icon #19 Posted by SYNAPSE on 21 March, 2013, 5:00
Comment icon #20 Posted by First-time Human on 21 March, 2013, 9:01
After having a good look at the enlarged photo, what I found MORE interesting is all the little rocks around it.. They're all smoothed out, like we find in creek beds, polished smooth by the flowing of water. Isn't this a bigger indication of previous flowing water on Mars?? What else can cause smooth rocks like that?? ***SNIP***
Comment icon #21 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 21 March, 2013, 10:14
You are a little behind the times. NASA announced that Curiosity had discovered a stream bed back in September (see ). That water has flowed on Mars in the past is not the big news here, that has been known for sometime, it's whether the conditions existed that were suitable for life in the past. Soil analysis carried out by the Mars Phoenix Lander showed high levels of perchlorate and suggested highly contaminated water and an environment unfriendly for life. The latest Curiosity discoveries suggest not only that there was water on Mars, but that this water was fresh. One of the scie... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Lava_Lady on 21 March, 2013, 11:20
It's beautiful! I want one! Gonna put it on a chain and wear it every where! Bling!
Comment icon #23 Posted by Rogue Suga on 21 March, 2013, 12:03
Could that white interior be a lot of crystals?
Comment icon #24 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 21 March, 2013, 23:45
yeah we all now already that life existed on mars and that there is still some water left.but nothing new to really read here.i have rocks in my house too
Comment icon #25 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 22 March, 2013, 0:13
No we don't. There is no evidence which unequivicably shows that there is life now or even was in the past. That doesn't mean it isn't there, but without evidence we certainly can't say that we know it is there. Some of us can grasp the difference between knowledge and belief and some of us can't.
Comment icon #26 Posted by DONTEATUS on 24 March, 2013, 3:12
Well the first step in Finding the Life is Looking for the Life,the Next step will be to believe that is is life that one is looking at.

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