Curiosity Discover the Water When Drilling rocks on Mars

Astronomy Science ~ NASA Curiosity rover continues to help scientists gather evidence to reveal mystery of how Mars lost water on its surfa...

Astronomy Science ~ NASA Curiosity rover continues to help scientists gather evidence to reveal mystery of how Mars lost water on its surface for billions of years.

This great rover drilled into a piece of Mars rock called Cumberland and find ancient water that is hidden in it. Researchers can then test key ratios in the water with the instruments that brought by Curiosity to collect more data about when Mars began to lose water, NASA officials said. In the same sample, Curiosity also detect the first organic molecules have been found on Mars. Mission scientists announced the discovery at a news conference at the convention of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, where they also announced the first detection of methane found on Mars Curiosity.

Cumberland rock that drill by Curiosity on May 19, 2013.
Cumberland rock that drill by Curiosity on May 19, 2013.
"It is really interesting that the measurements made Curiosity of the gas extracted from ancient rocks can tell us about the loss of water from Mars," says Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator for the instrument Curiosity SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement.

Curiosity to measure the ratio of deuterium (heavy hydrogen) with Hydrogen "normal". The ratio of D-to-H can help scientists see how long it takes the water molecules to escape, because molecular hydrogen is lighter and freer to fly into the upper atmosphere than deuterium.

The ratio of D-to-H in Cumberland about half of the ratio of water vapor found in the atmosphere of Mars today, NASA officials said. This indicates that the planet is losing a lot of water on its surface after Cumberland rock formed.

But Mars water samples were also about three times "heavier" than the Earth's oceans. This means that if water on the surface of Mars began with the ratio of D-to-H as the oceans of Earth, then most of the water before disappearing possibility Cumberland Mars formed about 3.9 billion-4.6 billion years ago.

Measurement Cumberland stone fills the gap for scientists to study the different epochs of the geological evolution of Mars. Sampling This marks the first time scientists were able to measure what kind of water on Mars during the Hesperian period, when the rock was formed, said Mahaffy, who is the lead author of the study published Martian water in the journal Science this week.

Previously, scientists have used the Mars meteorites on Earth to create a water sample Mars; However, none of these space rocks are derived from Hesperian period.
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Astronomy Science: Curiosity Discover the Water When Drilling rocks on Mars
Curiosity Discover the Water When Drilling rocks on Mars
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