posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 11:58 AM
More signs of past water on Mars have been uncovered by the American space agency Nasa's Curiosity rover. Powder drilled from a Martian rock last
week revealed evidence of drinkable water and conditions favourable to life.
Now instruments on the rover have found more water-bearing minerals in the area around the rock. Curiosity is exploring a region within Gale Crater,
near the Martian equator, called Yellowknife Bay. Scientists believe that billions of years ago water poured down the rim of the crater andformed
streams that might have been up to three feet deep.
The new discoveries were made using the infrared imaging capability of Curiosity's mastcamera, and an instrument that shoots neutron particles into
the ground to probe for hydrogen.
Differences in brightness between near-infrared wavelengths of light can indicate the presence of some hydrated minerals that have been altered by
water. "With Mastcam, we see elevated hydration signals in the narrow veins that cut many of the rocks in this area," said Dr Melissa Rice, from the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "These bright veins contain hydrated minerals that are different from the clay minerals in the
surrounding rock matrix." Source - www.independent.co.uk...