While the Mars rover works millions of miles away, we've found another piece of Mars close to home. Today, rocks from space!
"Field parties" may mean one thing to you -- but for geologists working near the South Pole, a field party means bundling up and scanning an ice field for meteorites. Why have a party of any kind in a bone-chilling environment?
Harvey: "If you want to find objects that are falling from the sky, lay out a big white sheet. And Antarctica is a big white sheet three thousand miles across. So pretty much any rock you find out on top of the ice sheet had to fly there somehow."
That's Ralph Harvey, a geology professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, who was part of a field party that discovered a Mars rock last year. He says most meteorites don't come from Mars, but from the asteroid belt -- a group of bodies smaller than planets orbiting the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Of the more than thirty-thousand meteorites found over the years, only four dozen or so have originated from the moon or Mars. The Mars rock found last year weighed in at about a pound and a half and arrived on Earth about eleven million years ago. I'm Eric Phillips.
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