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The “Mexican Hat” appears on an expedition to Mars

The “Mexican Hat” appears on an expedition to Mars

The Perseverance rover discovered a magnificent rock on Earth Mars. It is a stone shaped like a Mexican hat that was found during Sol (Martian day) 907 of its space mission.

The Martian “Mexican hat” was identified by Mastcam-Z as part of studies conducted in the Martian marginal carbonate zone, near Mars. Jezero crater. Officially, the rock has been named “Middle Mountain” and geologists believe it gained its shape due to the solidification process. In this case, the outer layer of the stone surface becomes harder due to chemical corrosion, while the inner layer remains softer. Over time, most of the rocks are crushed, while some parts of their walls remain intact.

In addition to taking images, the rover analyzed the “Mexican Hat” using a laser-induced spectroscopy monitoring instrument to evaluate its composition. The goal is to understand why some parts of the rock harden and other parts do not. The results will help determine whether the core of the “hat” and its walls are composed of different elements. Understanding its history will contribute to the geological narrative of the island Marginal carbonate zone of Mars.

Oxygen production on Mars is made possible by MOXIE

MOXIE performs an electrochemical process consisting of separating oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules; The source of carbon dioxide comes directly from the Martian atmosphere.

Life and atmosphere: the importance of the area in which the “Mexican hat” is found.

Since arriving on the planet’s surface, the Perseverance rover’s main mission has been to find signs of past life and study the geology of Mars. The NASA team working on this vehicle is currently conducting a detailed analysis of the minerals found in the carbonate region. The hypothesis is that mineralization in this area is the result of…Or the interaction of an ancient lake of water In Jezero Crater.

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Carbonates are formed through chemical reactions that occur when carbon dioxide reacts with liquid water. Studying the presence, abundance, and isotopic composition of minerals in the rocks surrounding Jezero Crater will allow us to infer past carbon dioxide levels in the Martian atmosphere.

On the other hand, Mars’ “Mexican Hat” and other rocks in the area have the potential to preserve traces of ancient life. On Earth, microscopic organisms trapped during the carbonate formation process are preserved for a long time. They can also give rise to formations known as stromatolites, which are layered structures resulting from the growth of microbial colonies in mineral-rich water.

The Perseverance rover found an area of ​​hollow rocks. (Image: NASA)

It has been observed that rocks with hollow shapes are common in the current Perseverance analysis area. In the Jezero Crater area, the stones take on strange shapes, as evidenced by a formation that was shaped like an open book and was a few centimeters in diameter.

The Perseverance rover is currently the newest unmanned lander on Mars, and has been exploring the terrain for 928 Martian days in search of clues that will shed light on the biology of the Red Planet.