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Abundant Organics found in Mars Sand

Thursday, September 22, 2016 20:03
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(Before It's News)

All articles by Wretch Fossil are here: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/lin440315&category_id=0

Last updated on Aug. 25, 2016

In early 2016, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity scooped particles at Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars and delivered the scooped particles into laboratory instruments CheMin and SAM to analyze the composition of the sample. The results for a CheMin test  have been published recently. Quote: “In addition to the crystalline phases, a broad rise in background is present and has been modeled using the program FULLPAT to indicate that ~50 +/- 22 weight% of this sample consists of X-ray amorphous material.” (quoted from the bottom of http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/msl/msl-m-chemin-4-rdr-v1/mslcmn_1xxx/data/rdr5/cmb_509595663min12630530000ch00111p1.lbl).

That means around 50 weight% of the particles in the sample are not composed of minerals but composed of organics or glass (note 1). As no volcano is near Gale Crater, glass sand is not very likely to be found at the center of the former lake. So, that sample should contain abundant organics.  

The following are the other 50% of the constituents in the particles: 

MINERAL
PERCENT 
ERROR
PLAGIOCLASE
50.3
3.1
OLIVINE
10.7
1.6
AUGITE
8.6
2.1
PIGEONITE
6.9
1.8
MAGNETITE
8.5
1
HEMATITE
6.8
0.8
ANHYDRITE
6
0.5
QUARTZ
2.3
0.5
(quoted from 
Note 1: See Wikipedia article on X-ray amorphous material:           https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorphous_solid
Added on Aug. 22, 2016:  
Greenhorn drill sample (drilled on Sol 1137) contains ~50 +/- 20 weight% X-ray amorphous material:

Wretch Fossil’s website:http://wretchfossil.blogspot.com/

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