This graphic shows Mars Global Surveyor detecting pyroxene.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA.
Mars Global Surveyor Measures Pyroxene
Mars Global Surveyor made a measurement of pyroxene on the surface of Mars. Scientists looking at results from the Mars Pathfinder Rover's study of the rocks of Mars could not find evidence of pyroxene at all. Pyroxene is an important silicate mineral, and is part of the evolution of silicate rocks on Earth. If Mars could not manufacture pyroxene the way the Earth does, that would suggest that Mars and the Earth evolved differently.
This graph shows a strong indication of the presence of pyroxene in the surface minerals of Mars, however. The graph rises every time the spacecraft finds pyroxene on the surface. The finding of pyroxene will help scientists figure out how the crust of Mars evolved.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
When magma is erupted onto the surface in the form of lava, it becomes silicate rock. With each different eruption of the volcano, lava which comes to the surface is made of slightly different chemicals,...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001. After a six-month journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The instruments onboard the Mars Odyssey will study the minerals on the surface...more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more
Aerobraking slowed the Mars Global Surveyor down when it reached Mars. Aerobraking also helped MGS to get into the right orbit for mapping the surface of Mars. Aerobraking means that the MGS flew through...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows the results returned from Mars...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. The picture to the left shows Mars Global Surveyor's measurement of the size of the giant cliff which separates the southern...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. The picture to the left shows the results returned from Mars Global Surveyor's measurement of the size of some of the Martian...more