NASA's rover found the 'smoking gun', sparks a major Mars discovery

NASA and the European Space Agency announced that the Perseverance rover found the 'smoking gun,' sparking a brand new discovery.

1 minute & 35 seconds read time

NASA recently announced that the Mars rover Perseverance has acquired a sample that has implications for understanding the entire planet.

NASA has taken to its blog to announce that on November 12, the Perseverance rover that's stationed in the Jezero Crater took a sample from a South Seitah rock that showed evidence of "Brac", or as NASA explains, "an unusual abundance of large olivine crystals engulfed in pyroxene crystals."

After further inspection, the findings were presented at a news briefing at the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans, where researchers stated that the bedrock the rover has been driving on since landing in the Jezero Crater likely formed from red-hot magma that interacted with water at some stage in the cooling process. Additionally, it was announced that the water that interacted with the rocks contain organic molecules.

"I was beginning to despair we would never find the answer. But then our PIXL instrument got a good look at the abraded patch of a rock from the area nicknamed 'South Seitah,' and it all became clear: The crystals within the rock provided the smoking gun," said Perseverance Project Scientist Ken Farley of Caltech in Pasadena.

"A good geology student will tell you that such a texture indicates the rock formed when crystals grew and settled in a slowly cooling magma - for example a thick lava flow, lava lake, or magma chamber. The rock was then altered by water several times, making it a treasure trove that will allow future scientists to date events in Jezero, better understand the period in which water was more common on its surface, and reveal the early history of the planet. Mars Sample Return is going to have great stuff to choose from!", added Farley.

For more information on this story, check out the NASA announcement here.

NASA's rover found the 'smoking gun', sparks a major Mars discovery 08
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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