As always at The Optimist Daily, we like to keep our readers up to date on exciting findings on Mars. Last time we reported on NASA’s perseverance rover stumbling across organic molecules. Now we want to bring to light a finding from another one of our interplanetary robot friends, the Curiosity rover.
The robot has uncovered some interesting mineral structures, the most intriguing forming in the shape of a flower. Other structures found close by the flower have been named “blueberries,” after their small, rounded appearance.
Scientists think that these structures were created by minerals, like salts and sulfates, precipitating from water to form diagenetic crystal clusters. Diagenetic basically means the rearrangement of crystals to result in three-dimensional crystal clusters.
It is thought that these structures were previously integrated into rocks that have eroded over time.
This is the first flower-like structure to be found on Mars, although these 3D crystals have been spotted before. Way back in 2013, Curiosity spotted crystals with “cauliflower” features, which had many knobby protrusions hence the name.
Through understanding more about the conditions on Mars, the more we learn about the natural world, shifts in climate, and other worldly conditions. Who knows, we might be moving there one day!