Curiosity mars rover has captured extraordinary picture of mineral rocks looking like Ice Cream Sandwich on Mars. This, however, hints a water existence on Mars. The captured images stunned NASA scientists.
The mineral rocks, which lie at a site dubbed Garden City near the base of Mars’ 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) Mount Sharp, harbor ridges up to 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) tall that are composed of bright and dark mineral veins.
Some of them look like ice-cream sandwiches: dark on both edges and white in the middle. These materials tell us about secondary fluids that were transported through the region after the host rock formed,” says Curiosity science team member Linda Kah of the University of Tennessee.
The Curiosity rover was on its mission to find out if Mars can sustain microbial life it had landed on its destination in August 2012. The rover had discovered a proof of an age old habitable lake-and-stream which is situated at a certain location near its landing area named Yellowknife Bay.
The Garden City veins were created by the fluid movement and is probably more recent compared to Yellow Bay lake formation which has more likely been there for around 3.5 billion years ago. It is said that the fluid movement happened in a wet environment that left accumulations in lake beds.
A large variety of rock samples were examined by the Curiosity which were taken from three different locations situated in the lower part of Mount Sharp where different mineral compositions was also found. With its discovery were also noticeable veins that show the mountain’s layers , making it possible to track its different stages of weathering.
The next assignment for the Curiosity team is to learn how the mineral rocks and veins were made and the chemical composition of the fluids responsible for altering them and drifted to the ground in Garden City.
Hardened mud is all over the area before the fractures of the mineral veins were created. Researchers explained that materials that looked darker is a proof that there had been a recent flow of fluid within the white veins after the cracks were created.
These mineral veins found in Garden City were apparently formed when fluids seeped through the cracks in rocks, depositing minerals that changed the rock’s chemical structure inside the cracks and fractures.
Now, the Curiosity team is planning to learn more about the timeline of how these mineral rocks and veins were formed, including the chemical composition of the fluids that changed them and moved along the terrain in Garden City.