Look At This: An X-Ray Diffraction Image of Martian Soil

By Ashley P. Taylor | October 31, 2012 1:19 pm

Mars X-ray diffraction image

This striking image represents the chemical composition of Martian sand recently collected by the Curiosity rover. Analysis of it reveals that Martian dirt is similar to volcanic soil from Hawaii, containing crystalline feldspar, pyroxene and olivine. To create this image, the rover’s Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument bombarded sand samples with X-rays, which bounce off in different patterns depending on the sample composition, allowing scientists to figure out which chemicals are present and in what quantities.

Image via NASA

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space
  • Pendragging

    As the amount of Iron (Fe) can vary quite a bit in these series, I wonder what percentage they found? Lots of Oxygen, though.

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