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Did They Find Water on Mars? Opal Discovery Suggests Watery Past

In October 2021, NASA's Mars Rover, Perseverance, made a groundbreaking discovery: a small, shiny rock that turned out to be an opal. This was the first-ever discovery of such a gemstone on Mars, and it has sparked a lot of interest among scientists and space enthusiasts alike.


Iridescent opals are highly prized for their iridescent hues, and they are usually formed when silica-rich rocks are hydrated. Similar to opals on Earth, opals on Mars formed when volcanic rock and water interacted.


a rover on planet Mars next to the helicopter Ingenuity
Perserverance rover with Ingenuity Helicopter

As well as the volcanoes and deep canyons, Mars has vast plains of hardened lava, mountains, and valleys carved by ancient rivers and lakes.


Mars' opal shows that it once had water. The presence of an opal indicates that water once existed on the planet's surface. So, did they find water on Mars? Well, opals are usually formed by interacting with silica-rich rocks, which are fromed when interacting with water. As a result, Mars may have had liquid water and possibly even life in the past.


Hence this discovery further reinforces the idea that Mars may have been habitable in the past.



 

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