Navigation Links
Los Alamos science sleuth on the trail of a Martian mystery
Date:3/19/2013

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, March 19, 2013 When it comes to examining the surface of rocks on Mars with a high-powered laser, five is a magic number for Los Alamos National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Nina Lanza.

During a poster session today at the 44th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at The Woodlands, Texas, Lanza described how the laser-shooting ChemCam instrument aboard the Curiosity rover currently searching the surface of Mars for signs of habitability has shown what appears to be a common feature on the surface of some very different Martian rocks during Curiosity's first 90 days on the Red Planet.

But exactly what that common feature is remains an intriguing mysteryand one that Lanza intends to solve.

The ChemCam instrument uses an extremely powerful laser to vaporize a pinpoint of rock surface. The instrument then reads the chemical composition of the vaporized sample with a spectrometer. The highly accurate laser can fire multiple pulses in the same spot, providing scientists with an opportunity to gently interrogate a rock sample, even up to a millimeter in depth. Many rocks are zapped 30 to 50 times in a single location, and one rock was zapped 600 times.

Members of the ChemCam team generally discard results from the first five laser blasts because of a belief that after the first five blasts, the laser has penetrated to a depth that provides a true representative sample of rock chemistry.

Instead of tossing out those data, however, Lanza looked at them specifically across a diverse set of Martian rocks. She found that the first five shots had chemical similarities regardless the rock type. What's more, after five shots, like other scientists had noticed, the spectrum from the vaporized rock stabilized into a representative sample of the rock type below.

"Why is it always five shots?" Lanza wondered.

It could be the first five shots were reading a layer of dust that had s
'/>"/>

Contact: James E. Rickman
jamesr@lanl.gov
505-665-9203
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Marine diversity study proves value of citizen science
2. Stereotyping prime obstacle to women in commercial science
3. Bioscience to battle ash dieback
4. 2013 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union
5. Old records, new bees result in Science paper for MSU ecologist
6. Global tipping point not backed by science: Study
7. July meeting presents animal and dairy science
8. Althea Technologies & Profectus BioSciences Sign Manufacturing Agreement For Plasmid DNA Production
9. Science synthesis to help guide land management of nations forests
10. Entomological Society of America launches science policy program
11. Inspiring teens with research virus: Expert-mentored bioscience contest proves a powerful vector
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/25/2014)... Prediabetes and Diabetes increasingly consume the healthcare ... immediate attention. , To address the ... impacting low-and middle-income countries, global leaders in ... research in diabetes prevention and development of ... important text. , This book on ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... tractography (DTT), which is derived from diffusion tensor ... motor tracts, such as the corticospinal tract, the ... The corticospinal tract is known to be a ... human brain. Several studies have reported on injury ... addition, some studies have demonstrated recovery of a ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown ... cells are introduced into a droplet of salt ... sodium chloride crystallisation to create biomineralogical biosaline 3D morphologically ... the material, bacteria are revived. The discovery was made ... the cover of the Astrobiology journal and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):What constitutes an effective response to the global 'diabesity' tsunami? 2Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate 2
... Alex Pyron,s expertise is in family trees. Who is related ... they are now. But not for humans: reptiles. In ... the island led him to confirm the identity of 60 ... an author on snakes and expert on amphibians and reptiles, ...
... foodborne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes sickens about 2,500 ... worldwide, killing about 25-30% of those infected. Listeriosis is ... , and current methods for detecting the bacteria are ... developing an inexpensive biosensor to detect the pathogen in ...
... laser laboratory operational later this year, he will use ... bonds like a stringed musical instrument. Tokmakoff, the ... at the University of Chicago in January to tackle ... vibrational spectroscopy methods that he has developed. "He ...
Cached Biology News:Sri Lankan snake study reveals new species, rich biodiversity in island country 2Low-cost nano-biosensor to detect foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis 2Low-cost nano-biosensor to detect foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis 3Watery research theme to flow through new Tokmakoff lab 2Watery research theme to flow through new Tokmakoff lab 3
(Date:7/24/2014)... Calabasas, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014 ... advancing the Global Supply Chain of the biotech ... annual SCM Innovation Awards, brought to you by ... premiere global organization of supply chain management professionals ... be given to stakeholders of the Biotech industry ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... BURLINGAME, Calif. , July 24, 2014  ECC ... Denver, Colorado with University College Hospital ... of a development project to finance, design, construct, and ... Ibadan, Nigeria . Under the first ... and prepare scoping documents and funding applications. UCH Ibadan ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... scientists are making progress in devising suitable means ... relies on quantum dotsa kind of artificial atom, ... new study demonstrates that changing the coupling of ... impulses can help better control them. This has ... quantum information units, which would produce faster quantum ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... , July 24, 2014 Research and ... "Global Cell Culture Market 2014-2018" report to their ... Cell culture is the in vitro growth of ... research, cell studies, and biopharmaceutical production. Cell culture is ... Cell culture instruments and cell culture consumables are necessary ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Call for Submission: BSMA’s Supply Chain Management Innovation Awards 2Call for Submission: BSMA’s Supply Chain Management Innovation Awards 3ECC Signs a Contract for the Finance, Design, and Construction of a Premier Cancer Institute in Ibadan, Nigeria 2Global Cell Culture Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Becton, Dickinson and Co, EMD, GE Healthcare, Lonza Group, Sigma Aldrich and Thermo Fisher Scientific 2
... , Multiporator / Electroporator 2510 , , , , , , ... , Protocol No. 4308 915.534 01/2002 , , ... , , Microorganism , ... Cell type , Bacteria, gram positive, , ...
... , , , , , , Multiporator / Electroporator 2510 , , , ... , Transformation Protocol , Protocol No. 4308 915.532 ... , , , , , , ... , Cell type , ...
... , , , , , , Multiporator / Electroporator 2510 , , , ... , Transformation Protocol , Protocol No. 4308 915.528 ... , , , , , , ... , Cell type , ...
Cached Biology Technology:Staphylococcus epidermidis 2Salmonella typhimurium 2Pseudomonas aeruginosa 2