Surprise! NASA just found Opal gems on Mars | Tech News

Surprise! NASA just found Opal gems on Mars

NASA's Curiosity Rover has found opal gems on Mars.

| Updated on: Jan 16 2023, 14:04 IST
Total lunar eclipse to SpaceX, 4 amazing photos captured By NASA
NASA's Curiosity Rover
1/5  These pictures taken by NASA were informative and eye catching. Take a quick look. 1. In the very first photo, a composite made from ten images shows the progression of the Moon during a total lunar eclipse above the Vehicle Assembly Building, November 8, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Visible trailing the Moon in this composite is Mars. From left to right, the Moon starts off at its usual brightness and gradually becomes a dull red. (NASA)
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2/5 While in the second photograph the SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft descends to Earth with four parachutes that resemble jellyfish. The four chutes are fully deployed and the candy corn-shaped capsule dangles below. The sky looks clear and blue. (NASA)
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3/5 In the third photo the capsule is Gray and it sits atop its beige airbags which deployed moments before touchdown in the desert. Workers access the top of the capsule via ladder. (NASA)
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4/5 In the fourth photo, the Night-time closeup of the fiery exhaust from the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT, satellite aboard, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. (NASA)
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5/5 Every picture taken by NASA has its own significance and it tells a lot about the space and the position of the planet. The snaps taken by NASA helps researchers to find out about the past and upcoming threats and opportunities. (NASA)
NASA's Curiosity Rover
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Here is what NASA's Curiosity Rover discovered on Mars. (NASA)

NASA rovers on Mars have been looking for clues to water or any other source of life. Now, in a big surprise, NASA's Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring the surface of Mars, has found water-rich opal gems on the planet. "More than just a shimmering stone, opal — which is rich in water — has now been found in Mars' Gale Crater by NASA's Curiosity Rover," a report by said.

"In both older and newer Curiosity images, they (researchers) noticed fracture halos, rings of light-colored sediment, that stood out because of their color; further tests proved that the light rock was actually opal," the report further informed.

Wondering why the discovery is important? Well, it may serve as an important resource for exploration and highlights that the surface below Mars could provide water-rich and radiation-shielded conditions. Also, scientists can now try and hope to harvest the water stored inside these opals.

"The opal currently on Mars may one day be able to be harvested for the water stored inside, offering a source of water for any crewed missions to the Red Planet," space. com said.

It can be noted that the Curiosity Rover has completed 10 years on the surface of Mars in August 2022. Curiosity, which is a part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars, according to the research organisation. It launched November 26, 2011 and landed on Mars at 10:32 p.m. PDT on August 5, 2012 (1:32 a.m. EDT on August 6, 2012).

Curiosity explores Gale Crater and acquires rock, soil, and air samples for onboard analysis. The car-size rover is about as tall as a basketball player and uses a 7 foot-long arm to place tools close to rocks selected for study. Curiosity's carry an advanced kit of 10 science instruments. It has tools including 17 cameras, a laser to vaporize and study small pinpoint spots of rocks at a distance, and a drill to collect powdered rock samples. It hunts for special rocks that formed in water and/or have signs of organics.

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First Published Date: 16 Jan, 13:37 IST