Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Does Mars Have ACID Fog?!

Soshanna Cole, an assistant professor at Ithaca College, appears to have discovered evidence of acidic fog altering the surface of Mars. The discovery was made via an analysis of data collected by NASA's Spirit rover over the course of its exploration of the Red Planet.

Spirit landed on Mars in January 2004, and, prior to becoming embedded in soft soil, made numerous breakthroughs that revolutionized our understanding of Mars. Eventually, the rover stopped transmitting, with the last communication with the robotic pioneer taking place on March 22, 2010.

As is so often the case with NASA's flagship missions, Spirit is living up to its name, and continuing to provide insights into the Martian environment long after falling into its perennial slumber.

Cole analyzed data collected by Spirit from a dozen locations in the Cumberland Ridge and the Husband Hill summit focusing on "watchtower class" rocky outcrops. It was discovered that the formations exhibited notable abnormalities that hinted at a strangely Earth-like process occurring on the Red Planet.

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