The surface of the red planet offers impressive motifs for pictures through the Mars rover Perseverance. What the vehicle the NASA but has now found it, has so far left the researchers involved puzzling. Nothing like it has been found on any other rover mission.
Mars rover documented: some stones show a mysterious color
If something is predominant on Mars, then it is the color red. More and more often, however, the Mars rover was able to document something that no one at NASA had noticed on previous missions. The formations have an unusual coating in the color purple.
“We haven’t really seen these special purple spots on previous rover missions.”
Bradley Garczynski, Purdue University
Almost every place NASA geologists have visited via Perseverance shows purple stripes between the red rock. The paint forms a thin coating on some rocks while it leaves colored bubbles on others.
According to Ann Ollila (via National Geographic), a geochemist at the Los Angeles National Laboratory, other stones appear to have a magenta layer of ice. When asked how such layers could have come about, however, she “doesn’t really have a good answer”.
The origin of the spots on Mars rocks could indicate life
Their origins could help provide clues about Mars’ past. This includes whether the planet has ever harbored life forms. At least the layers may have minerally and chemically sealed information about the environmental conditions when they were formed. This would enable researchers to reconstruct circumstances that have long since passed.
NASA’s Mars rover had discovered the strangely colored stones in the Jezero crater, a 45-kilometer-wide “pox scar” on the surface of the planet. Millions of years ago a meteorite struck this spot and a lake was formed.
Perseverance has been investigating the crater since landing in February 2021. The Mars rover only recently discovered traces of former water masses there. But the Mars images of the vehicle can also be seen otherwise.
Sources: National Geographic