Friday, July 19, 2024

NASA Perseverance Rover Finds Big Secrets in “Bright Angel”


NASA Perseverance rover has reached its latest Martian destination: a captivating rock formation called “Bright Angel.” This intriguing light-colored patch stands out against the Red Planet’s usual rusty colors, creating the curiosity of scientists back on Earth.

What is NASA Perseverance Rover?

Perseverance, nicknamed “Percy” by its team, is a car-sized robotic explorer sent to Mars by NASA as part of the Mars 2020 mission. Launched in July 2020, it successfully touched down on the Jezero Crater in February 2021, embarking on a historic quest to discover the secrets of the Red Planet.

Rover’s Journey Through Mars’ Waters

Perseverance’s journey to Bright Angel has not been simple. It navigated a difficult Martian land, overcoming sand dunes and passing through the ruins of an ancient riverbed known as Neretva Vallis. This same river system is believed to have fed the Jezero Crater, Perseverance’s landing spot. Following the river’s route for weeks, scientists felt Bright Angel would provide important clues about Mars’ water history.

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As Perseverance approached Bright Angel, scientists on Earth received their first close-up observations. The unusual light coloring of the rocks suggests a story waiting to be revealed. According to a particular view, these rocks are ancient material that was exposed by water erosion long ago, creating the Martian surface.

Search for Answers on Mars

After photographing Bright Angel in detail, Perseverance got down to business: gathering valuable Martian soil samples. Using its high-tech drill, the rover gently created a shallow pit, a process known as “abrasion.” This approach enables Perseverance to remove the damaged upper layer and reveal the clean rock beneath, which gives the opportunity to explore the full story.

The collected samples are being evaluated by Perseverance’s advanced instruments, which include X-ray technology. Scientists aim to get major insights into the climatic conditions on Mars billions of years ago by studying the rock’s chemical composition. Was there previously liquid water flowing freely across Mars’ surface? Did this water help to create a habitable environment?

More! Speed of Sound on Mars

The data gathered by NASA Perseverance rover at Bright Angel will be thoroughly examined in the next months. While the wait for answers may seem long, this careful analysis is critical for putting together the puzzling history of Mars. Each new discovery made by Perseverance brings us closer to determining whether the Red Planet ever had or will ever have the capacity for life. The trip continues, and with each discovery of Martian dirt, Perseverance brings us closer to finding the secrets of our cosmic neighbor.

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