Science

Knowledge from the Curiosity Rover on Mars is being studied by scientists on the College of Calgary

The Curiosity Rover has been accumulating knowledge from Mars and sending it again to Earth scientists for 11 years. At the moment, it was greater than 28 km away and reached a top of 609 meters at Mount Sharp on the Martian floor.

Benjamin Tutolo, an affiliate professor on the College of Calgary’s geology division, is trying carefully on the knowledge supplied by Curiosity in regards to the rock layers within the space.

“It is giving us issues like geological evaluation of the rocks it finds,” he stated. “The mineral evaluation of the rocks that he finds, the attractive footage that we will all have a look at and say the place is that this geologically, that is what geology is, after which issues like how a lot water on this materials, the quantity of natural matter it accommodates. materials.”

Tutolo says because the rover climbs the mountain, it’s searching for minerals within the rocks comparable to magnesium sulfate that’s just like epsom salt on Earth and is added to bathtub water.

“To ensure that water to type epsom salts, it needs to be very dry,” Tutolo stated. “All of it needs to be dry for the epsom salts to return down, so we all know we’re going from this moist lake transition up into a really dry, salty setting as we go up this Mount Sharp in the course of two.”

Tutolo is utilizing Mars knowledge and evaluating it to lakes in British Columbia. He’s utilizing laptop simulations to know the transition from the moist lake setting in BC to this dry, salty Martian setting.

Each three years, NASA has a name for scientists to take part in missions. Greater than 100 purposes had been submitted, and Tutolo was certainly one of solely two Canadian scientists to be accepted.

“My utility was chosen, after which I utilized a second time to the Canada House Company (CSA),” he stated. “They had been in a position to fund the analysis in order that NASA would not give me any cash, simply give me knowledge and data.”

Stephen Larter is working with Tutolo on a three-year challenge. He’s a professor of geochemistry on the U of C whose focus is looking for clues in among the Martian rocks about potential life and previous life on Mars.

“The Curiosity rover has an instrument bundle on board that permits it to find out rocks,” Larter stated. “If there’s natural materials (the rover will ship it) in a mass spectrometer and it will likely be in a position to establish the molecular signatures of this natural materials.”

He says one of many challenges on Mars is that the floor has loads of radiation as a result of the purple planet does not have a powerful magnetic area and the planet has lower than one % ambiance, so continually bombarded by the rays of the sky. That radiation can injury natural supplies and even the smallest particles.

Based on Tutolo, he’s honored to be part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. He marveled on the design and expertise packed into the Curiosity Rover that permits it to transmit knowledge 225 million kilometers from Earth.

“By evaluating the evolution of Mars with the evolution of Earth, we will perceive the function of life within the planetary system, and we will additionally perceive the function of the planet in controlling the worldwide improvement,” he stated.

Be taught extra in regards to the Curiosity Rover right here.

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