NASA probe spots possible source of sand on Mars

NASA probe spots possible source of sand...

NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO) has beamed back an image showing one possible place where sand grains are being produced on the red planet on Wednesday.

The region exhibits dark material that is being eroded from dark layers in the bedrock of a semicircular depression near the boundary of the Southern highlands and the Northern lowlands, NASA researchers said.

Downslope lineations support the notion that these dark sediments are derived locally, and did not accumulate here by coincidence because of the winds. The grains of sand that make up sand dunes on Earth and Mars have a hazardous existence because of the way that they travel.

Wind-blown sand is lifted above the surface of each planet before crashing onto the ground and bouncing in a sequence of repeated hops, a process called saltation.

Sand grains can also roll along the ground as they are blown by the wind, and they are also jostled by other sand gains that are similarly flying across the surface. All of these repeated impacts tend to wear down the sand grains, smoothening them into a more spherical shape and breaking off small fragments that supply the vast dust deposits of Mars.

This process, known as comminution, ultimately destroys sand grains and limits the length of time that the particles exist. The fact that we see active sand dunes on Mars today requires that sand particles must be resupplied to replace the grains that are lost over time. However, modern day sources of sand on Mars were not known.


PostedOn: 11 Oct 2017 Total Views: 13




Now, take a walk on Mars in your living ...

Now, take a walk on Mars in your living room!

NASA and Google are teaming up to offer free, virtual space exploration. 'Access Mars' was released on Thursday. The technology virtually transports users to mars from anywhere. It simulates walking on the red planet and provides close-up views of discoveries made by the Curiosity Rover. You can vie...

23 Oct 2017

World War II shipwreck recreated with vi...

World War II shipwreck recreated with virtual real...

Scientists have developed a new online virtual reality experience that lets users explore a Second World War shipwreck, which carried hundreds of tonnes of supplies. Researchers, including those from University of Nottingham in the UK, combined a highly detailed 3D model of the sunken ship, based on...

22 Oct 2017

Alcohol may advance foreign language ski...

Alcohol may advance foreign language skills: Resea...

Practicing to become skilled at a new language can be a really tough work, but a little drink may help, say scientists who found that people's ability to speak a foreign language is improved after they have consumed a low dose of alcohol. Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Un...

22 Oct 2017

Astronauts spacewalk to install new came...

Astronauts spacewalk to install new camera system ...

NASA astronauts have successfully completed a spacewalk to install a new camera system outside the International Space Station (ISS), replacing a blown fuse and installing a new high definition camera on the starboard truss of the station. During the spacewalk, which lasted six hours and 49 minutes,...

21 Oct 2017

Google celebrates 107th birthday of Nobe...

Google celebrates 107th birthday of Nobel-winning ...

Google Doodle celebrated the 107th birth anniversary of Indian American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar on Thursday, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 for his theory on the evolution of stars. Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1910, Chandra was a child prodigy. He published his first p...

20 Oct 2017

Google launches advanced Gmail security ...

Google launches advanced Gmail security features

Alphabet's Google Inc said on Tuesday that it would roll out an advanced protection program in order to provide stronger security for some users such as Govt officials and journalists who are at higher risk of being targeted by hackers. The internet giant said that users of the program would have th...

18 Oct 2017

Yahoo can provide dead man’s emails to f...

Yahoo can provide dead man’s emails to family

Massachusetts’ highest court says federal law does not prohibit Yahoo from providing a deceased man’s family members access to his email account. The Supreme Judicial Court said on October 16 that a lower court was wrong to conclude that the Stored Communications Act prohibited Yahoo fro...

18 Oct 2017

Planet Nine is for real: NASA

Planet Nine is for real: NASA

The elusive 'Planet Nine' does exist, and may be 10 times the mass of the Earth and 20 times away from the Sun than Neptune, according to NASA scientists. Planet Nine could turn out to be our solar system's missing 'super Earth' - a planet with a mass higher than the Earth's, but substantially lower...

16 Oct 2017