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NASA's Curiosity rover discovered continental crust usually found on Earth's ocean surface on Mars

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Baku, July 16 AZERTAC

Very often Mars is seen as having a moderately consistent surface basaltic rock, the kind of rock that most of the Earth's ocean crust is made of. The latest findings that have been made with the help of the ChemCam on the Curiosity rover now have a different story to tell.

The ChemCam employs laser for analyzing the composition of the rocks that it encounters and it has recently stumbled upon light-colored rocks that are very similar to the ones that can be seen in the Earth's continental crust.

Lead scientist on the ChemCam instrument, Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory, said, "Along the rover's path we have seen some beautiful rocks with large, bright crystals, quite unexpected on Mars. As a general rule, light-colored crystals are lower density, and these are abundant igneous rocks that make up the Earth's continents."

The rocks have been discovered inside the Gale Crater, where Curiosity landed and according to the researchers they are about 4 billion years of age, abundant in feldspar and maybe even quarts which made them similar to the rocks that have been contained in Earth's continental crust.

According to Violaine Sautter, the analysis of 22 rock samples has a strong similarity to Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite or TTG and this used be a prevailing attribute in the Earth's continental crust about 2.5 billion years ago during the Archean era.

NASA has picked out the Gale crater site as it provides an outlook into the ancient history of the Martian crust, similar to the Grand Canyon of the Earth. The crater has formed 3.6 million years ago and is 96 mile wide and 1 or 2 miles deep and thus have allowed

Curiosity to study the geologic periods of Mars.

Researcher has announced in March that there was once a time when Mars had an amount of liquid water on its surface that was equivalent to the Arctic Ocean's volume. Even though some of this water remains in the Maritan ice caps, much of it has been lost to space.

This all just strengthens that theory Mars might have had a similar journey compared to Earth and it is very much possible that the red planet had been inhabitable for very long.

Michael Mumma, a senior scientist at Goddard in March have said that, "With Mars losing that much water, the planet was very likely wet for a longer period of time than was previously thought, suggesting it might have been habitable for longer."

It will always be a great mystery, what has actually happened to Mars along the way which has put it in its present state.

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