|Why does this Martian rock have so much zinc?
Roughly the size and shape of a
tilted coffee-table, this oddly flat, light-topped rock outcropping was chanced upon a few weeks ago by the
robotic Opportunity rover currently rolling across Mars.
Early last month Opportunity reached
Endeavour crater, the largest surface feature it has ever encountered, and is now exploring Endeavour's rim for clues about how
was billions of years ago.
Pictured above and named
Tisdale 2, the unusual rock structure was probed by
Opportunity last week and is now thought to be a remnant thrown off during the impact that created nearby
The resulting chemical analysis of
Tisdale 2, however, has shown it to have a
strangely high amount of the element
The reason for this is currently unknown, but might turn out to be a clue to the history of the entire region.
Opportunity is already finding rocks older than any previously studied and will
continue to explore several other
intriguing rock formations only now
glimpsed from a distance.
Mars Exploration Rover Mission,