Friday, December 3, 2010

Proposed Future Mars Landing Site: Acidalia Planitia Mud Volcanoes

This proposed future Mars landing site in Acidalia Planitia targets densely occurring mounds thought to be mud volcanoes.

Mud volcanoes are geological structures formed when a mixture of gas, liquid and fine-grained rock (or mud) is forced to the surface from several meters to kilometers underground. Scientists are targeting these mud volcanoes because the sediments, brought from depth, could contain organic materials that might provide evidence for possible past and present microbial life on Mars.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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