When it landed on Mars last February, diligence stole the show from another rover: Curiosity. It has been almost ten years since the latter explored the Gale Valley. In the past, a Franco-American team discovered that Mars’ climate is characterized by changes in dry seasons and wet seasons thanks to its Chemcom telescope. CNRS researcher William Robin explains.
In 2012, The Landed on Mars. A heavy machine, almost 900 . It aims to explore the gigantic impact crater, the 150-kilometer-diameter Gale crater. “In the center of this abyss, we find places to fill it . In It is partially eroded and forms a mountain five kilometers high – Sharp mount or Aeolis Mons – Who recorded a part of the history of Mars ”, Explains CNRS researcher William Robin in the introduction.
William Robin is part of the Franco-American team – For Chemistry Camera completion. “The specialty of this tool – beyond the fact that it is made in France – is that it is fitted . In principle, this is used to focus To analyze the rocks near the rover. But this time, we have diverted the use of this telescope to record and analyze images. In the landscape as Curiosity is close to Sharp Mountain. “Curiosity. He is still exactly an expert
Climate change on Mars
Thanks to the high-resolution images, the telescope First look at this region. “We noticed new structures there. We found sediments that had not been deposited by lakes, at least in the lower part of the formation, above the formation of clay. », Explains William Robin.So gave
At an altitude of several hundred meters, the Cemcom telescope shows even more different structures. This time seems to coincide with the humid environment. “For the first time, we can understand the evolution of the Martian climate over millions of years, but the reason behind itBeing recorded on Sharp Mountain still avoids us. “
Curiosity Rover is back in the picture. “We gave him a road map. Now he has a closer look. Look for clues to help you understand what happened on Mars to allow such climate change.”, Says William Robin. By performing chemical analyzes, the combination of these sediments will allow researchers to finally establish precision. “The An invaluable tool for us. The powder it produces is analyzed To . » Enough to unravel the secrets that Mars still has hidden in these outdoors.
“Curiosity has come to the sulfate change”, William Robin tells us. “The crops we present in our study are a few meters high. Excitement develops when the rover is climbed . We can begin our stratigraphic analysis. We are talking about a thickness About 500 meters. It takes us many years to cover this thickness. We don’t know if Curiosity will sustain this. But our goal is to gather as much data as possible to understand the origin of climate change on Mars three billion years ago. ”, Concludes CNRS researcher.of
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