A rock on Mars being studied by NASA engineers being hailed as unusual for bearing a similar resemblance to a well-known rock on earth.
According to a statement released by NASA, the rover team studying the football-sized rock called “Jake Matijevic,” is helping scientists better understand how rocks develop.
Jake is about the size of a football and shaped like a pyramid.
“This rock is a close match in chemical composition to an unusual but well-known type of igneous rock found in many volcanic provinces on Earth,” explained Edward Stolper of the California Institute of Technology, who is also a co-investigator of NASA’s Curiosity rover. “With only one Martian rock of this type, it is difficult to know whether the same processes were involved, but it is a reasonable place to start thinking about its origin.”
NASA also reveals that rocks like Jake come from processes in the planet’s mantle beneath the crust, from crystallization of water-rich magma at elevated pressure. NASA believes studying rock compositions is crucial because they “tell stories about unseen environments and planetary processors.”
Curiosity, the centerpiece of the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory Mission, arrived on Mars August 5th as part of a study to learn whether the “Red Planet’ has necessary conditions to support life.
Studies on the scientists’ findings are still ongoing.
Jake was named in honor of a Curiosity mission team member who died in August.