“The 3D discovery in a sliver of rock in Gale Crater is one of the most surprising discoveries Curiosity has made during its ten-year Mars exploration.”
That’s what Kirsten Seebach, a researcher and member of NASA’s Mars Group, says in a new book Report In Earth and flat science messages.
After the discovery in 2016, Seebach and her colleagues began investigating all 3D finds on Earth. It is found mainly in shale materials in Germany, Italy and France and has limited use with regard to sandblasting materials.
After a thorough study, a logical idea emerged.
Magma could have existed beneath a volcano on Mars and has undergone a partial cooling process, called microcrystallization, which among other things brings concentrated silicon as a residual product. During the eruption, the volcano then spewed ash containing silicon into Gale Crater and surrounding areas. The ash decomposed over time, and eventually the remaining minerals separated from each other, including the three-dimensional mass, which separated from the silicon.
Wetter and maybe warmer
This event on Mars could also have triggered other chemical phenomena, such as aluminum oxide – which was also found in 2016.
If the volcanic eruption theory is correct, this means that the volcanic eruption occurred three billion years ago, when Mars changed from being a wetter and possibly warmer planet, to a dry and cold world as it is now.
And examination of the triple discovery indicates that Mars had a much more complex and fascinating volcanic history than previously thought, before the Curiosity rover began its exploration journey.
NASA chose Curiosity to investigate Gale Crater when the space agency sensed the crater was a river several billion years ago.
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