This discovery sheds light on Mars in Antarctica

Researchers have found a mineral common to Mars in Antarctic ice. This discovery can tell us how this planet formed on the red planet and suggests that glaciers played an important role there.

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The Jarosit Is one The species Minerals consist of hydrated sulfate. do and of Potassium. this Minerals Yellowish-brown is common on Mars, but the process of its formation on this planet was uncertain.

This mineral has also been found now Antarctic. this Xerocyte is not the first discovery on Earth However, what is interesting here is that this mineral can form on the red planet in the same way as in the southern polar regions of the blue planet: by getting stuck in the dustOld ice deposits.

Martian Zerosite: Nearly Two Decades of History

Xerocyte was first seen on Mars in 2004, When rover chance Rolled over finely granulated layers of this mineral. This discovery was notable because jarosite requires water to form, as well as iron, sulfate, potassium, and conditions. Acid.

Difficult to reunite These positions on mars. Scientists have proposed several scenarios to try to explain how this mineral can be so abundant. For some, it could have been deposited byEvaporation of small amounts of water Salty and sour. However, Giovanni Bacolo, Geologist First author of a new study published and published at the University of Milan-Bissoc Nature communicationshow that Alkaline basalt rocks of Mars crust This would neutralize the acidic moisture.

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Other researchers have put forward the idea that Jarosite was born Massive snow accumulation Which could have covered the planet billions of years ago. In form of ice caps Evolved, the dust would have accumulated in the ice and could have been transformed into xerocyte in a pocket of slush between ice crystals. However, this process was never seen Solar System.

Is the Antarctic Jarosite the key to the mystery of its Martian analogue?

On Earth, jarosite can be found Mining waste pile exposed toWind And rain, although it is not common. No one in Antarctica expected to find them, and moreover, Bacolo was not looking for one. What was he looking for Minerals Which may indicate Cycle From Ice age In layers of Ice carrot 1,620 meters long, which Preservation of thousands of years of Earth’s history. However, in Deepest snow in carrots, He found strange particles of dust, which he said could be Peel.

To confirm the mineral’s identity, Bacolo and his colleagues measured how well it absorbed X-ray. He also investigated grains under the mighty electron microscope, Confirming that it was Jarosite. The particles were also visibly cracked and devoid of sharp edges, a sign they had created and wiped out as a result of chemical attacks in pockets of ice.

Studies show that Jarosite is formed on Mars in a similar way. However, Megan Ellwood Madden, a geochemist at the University of Oklahoma who was not involved in the study, wonders whether the process could explain the abundance of Jarosite on the Red Planet: ” On Mars, it is not just a thin layer. These are deposited several meters thick. »

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Bacollo accepts that the ice core contains only small amounts of jarosite, particles smaller than an eyelash, or a grain. Sable. However, he specifies that there is much more dust on Mars than in Antarctica, which would encourage the formation of more jarite under the right conditions.

Bacolo wants to use Antarctic Carrots To determine whether ancient Martian ice deposits could constitute other Minerals. According to him, Jorosite shows that Glacier Does not exist Sculpture landscape landscape, But were also able to play on the chemical composition of the planet.

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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