A tiny "mineral flower" seen on the planet Mars may have been created by water

Anita Durairaj

Earlier in February 2022, NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, captured the most bizarre image on the planet Mars. The rover had been looking for signs of life on the planet. It captures visual data and relays it back to Earth.

It caught a beautiful image of an object that looked like a flower on the surface. In reality, the flower was actually a rock artifact that had been captured by a camera located at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The camera served as a magnifying lens and that led scientists to determine that the rock flower was tiny and even smaller than a penny.

According to NASA, the flower-shaped rock was one of the more unusual sights discovered on the planet.

Scientists believe that the flower-shaped rock was formed by minerals deposited by water that had seeped into the cracks or divisions of the rock. The flower structure was formed by clusters of crystals.

The flower-like rock has been named Blackthorn Salt. Similar structures made out of ancient mineral deposits had been found before although none had looked like a flower.

Scientists have already claimed that at one time, Mars had abundant water. There is reportedly still water on Mars in the form of ice and vapor. There is water ice at the Martian North Pole and the South Pole.

Liquid water is rare and transient on the planet and may only exist in the form of dissolved moisture.

The flower-like rock would have formed when liquid water was prevalent on the planet.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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