A new serious of photographs taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal Nili Fossae, Mars’ northwest region, diverse compositions on the layered bedrock formed by the region’s unique geology history. These compositions produce different colors like the beautiful shades of blue.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Many Martian regions appear smoothed by dust and regolith, but in this stunning pics we see the Nili Fossae bedrock very well exposed, except for spots where there are sand dunes. The variety of colors is produced by the presence of minerals – such as carbonate, aluminum smectite, hydrated silica, and iron oxides – in Mars’ crust.
A NASA spokesperson said the Orbiter’s next step will be to inspect the region further in search of signs of life that might once have existed there. “Nili Fossae Trough is a huge crack in the surface of Mars,” the NASA spokesperson explained.
“The region has one of the largest, most diverse exposures of clay minerals [that] contain water in their mineral structure and may preserve organic materials. Scientists are excited about studying such deposits to understand past environments that could have supported life.”