Friday, March 19, 2010

Salty Martian Highlands

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM

ESP_016354_1745-1.jpg
  • NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

This week's batch of HiRISE images includes this salty spot that might one day be make for a home for a future Mars mission. HiRISE honcho Alfred McEwen tells us:

There is an intriguing surface unit in parts of the ancient Martian highlands that may consist of chloride salts (like NaCl—table salt) which precipitated out of shallow lakes as in desert regions of Earth.

It has unusual thermal properties and distinctive morphologies, but lacks spectral absorption bands. All of these characteristics and the geologic settings are consistent with salt deposits. These deposits are often associated with clay minerals that do have distinctive absorption bands.

This particular location has been selected as a candidate landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory or another future rover. Hopefully the HiRISE images won't reveal too many boulders or steep slopes that would be hazardous. A stereo anaglyph is also available.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Nintzel

  • Editor's Note

    Heroic Efforts
    • Dec 14, 2017
  • The Skinny

    In Jim Nintzel's last Skinny of 2017, he looks at the just-passed tax bill and the race for McSally's congressional seat.
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • Editor's Note

    We Will Rock You
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • More »
Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
DO(OM) Yoga

DO(OM) Yoga @ Floor Polish

Sundays, 8-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Festival Band's New Year's Eve Dance

Join us at the Tucson University Park Hotel (formally Marriott) for our NYE Dance! We play Tejano,… More

@ Tucson University Park Hotel Dec. 1-Jan. 1 880 E. 2nd Street

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. An Incomplete Look at the Koch Brothers' Influence in Arizona (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. $59 Million Can Focus the Mind, Even If You're Facebook (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Laughing Stock: Holly Jolly Edition (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Laughing Stock: The People's Pervert Does Christmas (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. The Weekly List: 26 Things To Do in Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation