HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Curiosity on Mars Sits on...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:13 PM

Curiosity on Mars Sits on Rocks Similar to those Found in Marshes in Mexico

Monday, October 29, 2012
Source: Alphagalileo

Curiosity on Mars Sits on Rocks Similar to those Found in Marshes in Mexico

"Cuatro Cienegas is extraordinarily similar to Mars. As well as the Gale crater where Curiosity is currently located on its exploration of the red planet, this landscape is the home to gypsum formed by fire beneath the seabed," as explained to SINC by Valeria Souza, evolutionary ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The researcher states that sulphur components from magma and minerals from the sea (carbonates and molecules with magnesium) are required to form gypsum. In the case of the Cuatro Cienegas Basin, the magma under the seabed was very active. In fact, it allowed for the continent displacement during the Jurassic Period: "Here was where the supercontinent Pangaea opened up some 200 million years ago, pushing the hemisphere north from the equator where it is now."

In the case of Mars, the scientists have not been able to confirm tectonic movement in its crust at any point, but they believe that a large meteorite crashed into its primitive sea. The fact that probing has detected gypsum in the Gale crater indicates that mineral-rich water was present and that sulphur was able to form due to the impact of the meteorite causing the crater.

It is no easy task to find a place on Earth similar to this Martian environment, except in Cuatro Cienegas. For this reason astrobiologists toil in their work to understand how its bacterial communities work. "This oasis in the middle of the Chihuahua desert is a time machine for organisms that, together as a community, have transformed our blue planet yet have survived all extinctions. How they have managed to do this can be revealed by their genes," says Souza.

More:
http://www.marstoday.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=39059

1 replies, 602 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Curiosity on Mars Sits on Rocks Similar to those Found in Marshes in Mexico (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 OP
Politicalboi Oct 2012 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:21 PM

1. CNN BREAKING NEWS: Could illegal aliens

Be living on Mars?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread