posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 01:56 PM
Originally posted by Arken
...And this mean that Curiosity CAN find FOSSILS on the bed of this ancient martian LAKE.
Sure, if Mars ever had life, signs of that life could be found in Gale Crater. That's one reason why NASA chose Gale Crater.
However, fossils are usually as hard as the surrounding rock matrix (considering the minerals in the surrounding rock is what petrified the fossil in
the first place), and I don't know if a fossil would remain poking out of the rock like that, rather than being worn away in a similar fashion as the
surrounding rock matrix.
This could be a piece of metal ore, or maybe an ancient metallic meteor that fell long ago and became part of the sedimentary rock.
Personally, I think if visible
signs of ancient life are to be found in Gale Crater, I think Aeolis Mons (formerly known as Mt Sharp) may be
the place Curiosity finds it. Aeolis Mons/Mt. Sharp is the primary target for this mission, mainly because NASA feels that they will be able to see
millions or billions of years worth of exposed sedimentary strata in the canyons of the slopes of Aeolis Mons.
I don't think they are "expecting" to find a fossil, but at least one NASA geologist (Matthew Golombek) stated that "in his wildest dreams"
would find a visible fossil in the strata of Aeolis Mons -- but he did stress "in his wildest dreams". There is nothing wrong with