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Curiosity rover snaps close-up of tiny 'mineral flower' on Mars

By: April Carson

This may be the best opportunity we will ever have to discover a flower on Mars.

The Curiosity rover has snapped a close-up of a small, "flower-like" mineral on the surface of the red planet. The discovery was made using the rover's ChemCam instrument, which is used to identify chemical composition of targets. The rock item, which is about the size of a penny, appears to be a miniature coral or flower.

NASA officials believe that the Martian "flower" and the spherical pieces near it were created in ancient times when minerals carried by water cemented the rock.

Curiosity took a photo of the tiny rock formation on February 24 with the Mars Hand Lens Imager, a camera attached to its arm extension.

The finding is similar to other little features Curiosity has discovered in the past, all of which were formed "when mineralizing fluids traveled through conduits in the rock," NASA says. The Opportunity rover also identified Martian "blueberries" — little mineral spherules that indicate once watery soil on Mars — previously.

Curiosity is actively researching Wilhelm's Land by studying and photographing the features. Each photograph it captures and shares of these features allows researchers to assemble the timeline of water's presence in the crater.

10 Years of Research

Curiosity will reach a significant milestone later this year: ten years on Mars. On August 5, 2012, Curiosity landed on the red planet. For the previous decade, it has been investigating the crater and Mount Sharp's center in particular. The rover has found evidence of an ancient, watery environment that could have supported microbial life.

While no definitive signs of life have been discovered as of yet, Curiosity continues to explore the possibility.

The goal of the mission was to determine whether Mars has ever been hospitable to microbial life. The planet's habitability was confirmed by the rover's early findings of chemical and mineral evidence, which it found while on its journey. Curiosity has been investigating the geologic record in order to determine when Mars may have been most conducive to life since then.

Curiosity scampers across sharp boulders and ridges, collecting rock and soil samples for examination. The rover has even been known to drill into rocks in order to acquire a sample.

Curiosity, which was much bigger than previous Mars rovers, paved the road for the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter, which are currently trekking across Jezero Crater 2,300 miles away and will eventually return the first Martian samples to Earth through future missions. These rovers' combined efforts might help determine whether or not life existed on Mars in the past.

Billboard Artist Donny Arcade and Billy Carson 4biddenknowledge Podcast


About the Blogger:

April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav



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