“This is the first confirmation of sedimentary conglomerates on another planet.” - Rebecca M.E. Williams of the Planetary Science Institute.
NASA’s Curiosity rover found evidence of exposed bedrock made up of smaller fragments cemented together, commonly referred to by geologists as a sedimentary conglomerate. These rocks are the first ever found on Mars that contain streambed gravels.
“These conglomerates look amazingly like streambed deposits on Earth,” Williams added. “Most people are familiar with rounded river pebbles. Maybe you’ve picked up a smoothed, round rock to skip across the water. Seeing something so familiar on another world is exciting and also gratifying.”
The size, shape, and arrangement of the rocks discovered by Curiosity display the telltale signs of water transport through a stream that potentially stretched for a few miles and likely was ankle-deep. Sanjeev Gupta, of the London-based Imperial College, added this:
“The rounding indicates sustained flow. It occurs as pebbles hit each other multiple times. This wasn’t a one-off flow. It was sustained, certainly more than weeks or months, though we can’t say exactly how long.”
NASA plans to further explore the region where these conglomerates were located, known as the Gale Crater. This region has been identified to once have conditions that would be favorable for microbial life.
“Many of my movies have strong female leads–brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe in with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a saviour”
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the Chinese government’s suppression of protesters. Thousands of people attended a candlelight vigil today in Hong Kong for the anniversary.
Photos: 2013 image by Kin Cheung, AP | 2013 image by Wally Santana, AP | 1989 image by Jeff Widener, AP | 1989 image by Mark Avery, AP | 1989 image by Jeff Widener, AP