NASA Rover discovers gemstone on Mars.

A research team using new methods to analyze data from NASA's Curiosity, a rover operating on Mars since 2012, was able to independently verify that fracture halos contained opal, on Earth a gemstone formed by the alteration of silica by water.

The study finds that the vast subsurface fracture networks would have provided conditions that were potentially more habitable than those on the surface.

In 2012, NASA sent the Curiosity rover to Mars to explore Gale Crater, a large impact basin with a massive, layered mountain in the middle. As Curiosity has traversed along the Mars surface, researchers have discovered light-toned rocks surrounding fractures that criss-cross certain parts of the Martian landscape, sometimes extending out far into the horizon of rover imagery. Recent work finds that these widespread halo networks served as one of the last, if not the last, water-rich environments in a modern era of Gale Crater. This water-rich environment in the subsurface would have also provided more habitable conditions when conditions on the surface were likely much more harsh.

Source: www.forbes.com


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