Science

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

The Curiosity Rover has been gathering 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 wanting carefully on the knowledge supplied by Curiosity concerning the rock layers within the space.

“It is giving us issues like geological evaluation of the rocks it finds,” he mentioned. “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 in it. materials.”

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

“To ensure that water to kind epsom salts, it needs to be very dry,” Tutolo mentioned. “All of it needs to be dry for the epsom salts to come back 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 midst of two.”

Tutolo is utilizing Mars knowledge and evaluating it to lakes in British Columbia. He’s utilizing pc 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 have been submitted, and Tutolo was one among 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 mentioned. “They have 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 undertaking. He’s a professor of geochemistry on the U of C whose focus is looking for clues in a number of the Martian rocks about doable life and previous life on Mars.

“The Curiosity rover has an instrument package deal on board that enables it to find out rocks,” Larter mentioned. “If there’s natural materials (the rover will ship it) in a mass spectrometer and it is going to be in a position to determine the molecular signatures of this natural materials.”

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

In accordance with Tutolo, he’s honored to be a part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. He marveled on the design and expertise packed into the Curiosity Rover that enables 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 event of life,” he mentioned.

Study extra concerning the Curiosity Rover right here.

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