Curiosity rover has found mineral-filled fissures in the rocks of Gale Crater on Mars. Together with other evidence, the minerals suggest that the rocks were once 'saturated with water.'
White veins of minerals coursing through rocks on the floor of Mars's Gale Crater are providing some of the strongest evidence yet that the rover Curiosity's landing site once was a wetter, warmer place.
The details are still fuzzy. But the composition of the minerals indicate that they precipitated out of water flowing through fissures in the rock, while large grains within the rocks themselves are rounded, suggesting that water might have dulled their sharp edges.
Yellowknife Bay, the rocky expanse Curiosity currently inhabits, "is literally shot through with these fractures," says John Grotzinger, a geologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena., Calif., and the mission's chief scientist.
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