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. The absence of pyroxene minerals was a puzzlement to scientists studying results returned by the Mars Pathfinder Rover's examination of the rocks of Mars. 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 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:
As magma cools slowly, elements within it become chemically bonded forming crystals of minerals. However, not all minerals form at the same time during the cooling process. Some minerals crystallize when...more
Magma consists of remelted material from Earth's crust and fresh material from the aesthenosphere, relatively near the Earth's surface. When magma is erupted onto the surface in the form of lava, it becomes...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. After a six-month, 285 million-mile journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001 (02:30 Universal...more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more
On September 12, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor successfully entered a highly elliptical orbit around Mars. To get into the near-circular, near-polar, low-altitude orbit necessary to map the surface of...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the altitudes of things. The 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 altitudes of things. The instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows Mars Global Surveyor's measurement...more