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)