PASADENA, Calif.—For speed daters, first impressions are everything.
But it's more than just whether someone is hot or not.
The work, led by geochemist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), could not only help in understanding the geologic history of Mars but also aid in the search for evidence of ancient life on the planet.
Many of the experiments carried out by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission's Curiosity rover were painstakingly planned by NASA scientists more than a decade ago. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry and one of the 29 selected participating scientists, submitted a proposal that outlined a set of techniques similar to those already used for dating rocks on Earth, to determine the age of rocks on Mars.
The smooth floor of Yellowknife Bay is made up of a fine-grained sedimentary rock, or mudstone, that researchers think was deposited on the bed of an ancient Martian lake.
In March, Curiosity drilled holes into the mudstone and collected powdered rock samples from two locations about three meters apart.
And it turns out desirability also leads to selectivity, as our guys are also the pickiest by far.
Although researchers have determined the ages of rocks from other planetary bodies, the actual experiments—like analyzing meteorites and moon rocks—have always been done on Earth.
Now, for the first time, researchers have successfully determined the age of a Martian rock—with experiments performed on Mars.
When it comes to choosing a college, today’s teenagers consider much more than just academics.
Some applicants want to know how good the campus Wi-Fi system is, whether the fitness center offers spin classes or even if the cafeteria has an organic salad bar.