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.
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