Acid fog dissolved rocks on Mars: Study


NEW YORK (TIP): Mars has acid fog which eats away rocks and is caused by volcanic eruptions on the red planet, a new study suggests.

A planetary scientist has found how acidic vapours may have eaten at the rocks in a 100-acre area on Husband Hill in the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater on Mars. Shoshanna Cole’s research focused on the `Watchtower Class’ outcrops on Cumberland Ridge and the Husband Hill summit. “The special thing about Watchtower Class is that it’s very widespread which means that the rocks record environments that existed on Mars billions of years ago,” she said.

By combining data from previous studies of the area on Mars, Cole saw some intriguing patterns emerge. Spirit examined Watchtower Class rocks and the chemical composition of these rocks, as determined by Spirit’s Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer, is the same, but the rocks looked different to all of the other instruments.