Latest Desert varnish Stories
Los Alamos National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Nina Lanza announced at the 44th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas that Curiosity's ChemCam laser could be offering some detailed inside information about the Red Planet's surface.
NASA scientists are seeing new evidence that suggests traces of water on Mars are under a thin varnish of iron oxide, or rust, similar to conditions found on desert rocks in California's Mojave Desert.
As scientists search for life on Mars, they should take a close look at rock varnish, according to a paper in the current issue of the "Journal of Geophysical Research."
New research reveals that the dark coating known as desert varnish creates a record of life around it, by binding traces of DNA, amino acids and other organic compounds to desert rocks. Samples of Martian desert varnish could therefore show whether there has been life on Mars at any stage over the last 4.5 billion years.