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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has discovered a pale rock that has a higher composition of aluminum and silica and a lower concentration of calcium and iron than any other rock it has examined during its time on Mars, the US space agency announced on Friday.
NASA said its Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity placed itself in standby mode during April when the sun was blocking out communication with the Red Planet and Earth.
Researchers found networks of narrow ridges in impact craters on Mars that appear to be fossilized remnants of underground cracks through which water once flowed.
NASA's Opportunity rover is closing in on its 10-year anniversary and is still performing science missions on the Red Planet, reports the Associated Press.
A larger portion of the Mars surface is covered by clay minerals - a type of rock that typically forms in places where water is present over an extended period of time - than was previously believed.
NASA announced that Opportunity has just completed a walkabout of an area where scientists believe water might have once existed.
While it seems like Curiosity is the one getting all the headlines these days, NASA's "other" Mars rover, Opportunity, is still alive and well -- and en route to a new site to study the composition and internal structures of small spherical objects similar to the iron-rich ones previously discovered at its landing site.
Hematite (AE) or haematite (BE) is the mineral form of Iron (III) oxide, (Fe2O3), one of several iron oxides. The ore sometimes contains slight amounts of titanium. When shaped into ornaments, it is often called black diamond. Hematite is a very common mineral, coloured black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish brown, or red. It is mined as the main ore of iron. Varieties include Bloodstone, Iron Rose, Kidney Ore, Martite, Paint Ore, Specularite (Specular Hematite), Rainbow Hematite...
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