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Jul 11

Mars' rust suggests water in the past

Source: NASA Press Release 11-214


Phoenix Mars Lander. Image credit: NASA.

´╗┐NASA scientists are seeing new evidence that suggests traces of water on Mars are under a thin varnish of iron oxide, or rust, similar to conditions found on desert rocks in California's Mojave Desert.

Mars could be spotted with many more patches of carbonates than originally suspected. Carbonates are minerals that form readily in large bodies of water and can point to a planet's wet history. Although only a few small outcrops of carbonates have been detected on Mars, scientists believe many more examples are blocked from view by the rust. The findings appear in the Friday July 1, online edition of the International Journal of Astrobiology. (read more)

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