That he Curiosity rover is going to the slopes as it proceeds to explore Mars, and the proverbial golden it is searching for could surprise you: natural salts.
No, that is not for the farm-to-table cooking. Organic salt is an integral ingredient in the quest for signs of life on planets outside Earth.
The rover was investigating Gale Crater, probably that the site of an ancient lake, because 2012.
The assignment started with the aims of determining if circumstances on Mars ever supported life in addition to characterizing the Martian climate and geology. Curiosity has achieved all what it had been created to do, but it is currently crossing into an intriguing new stage: exploring a transition which happened on Mars billions of years back.
Proof observed by autonomous missions on Mars, in addition to orbiters circling the red planet, have helped scientists find out that it was probably a warmer, wetter area roughly 4 billion decades back. That is until some catalyst induced Mars to shed the majority of its air and eventually become a frozen desert approximately 3 billion decades back.
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Curiosity has invested a lot of its time during the past several years analyzing clay-rich stone layers on Mount Sharp. The Curiosity assignment is handled by staff in the laboratory, which is situated in Pasadena, California.
The existence of clay stones suggests that they formed when water has been present on Earth.
Meaning Curiosity is basically crossing to a location at which this transition from wet to dry happened on Mars, so that it could immediately see the effects of the ancient climate shift.