New Mars rock hints at short-lived lakes

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

Knivesout no more
Nov 11, 2003
Bangalore, India
13:15 18 May 04 news service The Mars rover Opportunity has discovered hints of a type of rock never before seen on the planet. Its presence would mean that any watery periods in Mars' past were cold and short-lived.

Opportunity has been perched on the rim of a 130-metre wide crater dubbed Endurance since early May. It has been using its remote sensing instruments to study the rocks exposed in the steep sides of the crater.

A dark layer of rock, one to two metres deep, particularly intrigued mission scientists because it looked so different to the lighter-coloured rocks that Opportunity had studied at its landing site, the smaller Eagle crater. The composition of the latter rocks indicated that water had once washed over them.


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