The Perseverance Mars rover began examining the rocks at Jezero Crater in the spring of 2021. NASA scientists expected sedimentary rock because the crater originally held a lake billions of years ago. This would have happened as mud and sand accumulated in an area that had previously been moist. Instead, they Discoveries that the floor was made up of two types of igneous rock, one produced by volcanic activity near the surface and the other by magma at extremely deep levels.
The results are described in four new scholarly journals published today, August 25, 2022. Before its April 2022 arrival in the historic river delta of Jezero, Perseverance conducted studies on the crater bottom, according to one Science article. A second study published in the same journal details the strange rocks that appear to have formed from a sizable magma body.
This is done for the crystals inside to retain information about the exact moment of their formation. The igneous rocks we Discoveries are significant because they can tell us how long Jezero had a lake. We know it was there more recently than the igneous crater floor materials produced, says Ken Farley of Caltech, the project scientist for Perseverance and the lead author of the first two Science investigations.
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