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NASA Finds Red Planet Is Rich In Green Gem
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 10-24-2003

Posted on 10/23/2003 6:41:41 PM PDT by blam

Nasa finds red planet is rich in green gem

(Filed: 24/10/2003)

Large outcrops of a gemstone mineral commonly used in jewellery have been found on Mars, scientists said yesterday.

On Earth the mineral, olivine, takes the form of the brilliant green gemstone peridot.

An instrument aboard a Nasa spacecraft spotted an area of nearly 19,000 square miles rich in olivine in the Nili Fossae region of Mars.

The mineral, detected by the Mars Global Surveyor, was on the surface of the planet. Scientists believe it may have been thrust up from below the ground by faults and fractures.

It is thought that the broken nature of the ground at Nili Fossae may be linked to the Isidis impact basin, formed long ago by an asteroid or comet.

On Earth, exposed olivine weathers and breaks down quickly because of the planet's relatively warm, wet weather.

Conditions are very different on Mars, which is cold and dry. How much of the unweathered mineral is found on Mars may provide clues about the planet's ancient climate.

If the mineral has been there since early in the planet's history, it would mean the planet has been cold and dry for most of its life.

But many scientists believe Mars was once much more like the Earth, with running water and a thicker atmosphere.

A team of United States researchers led by Todd Hoefen of the US Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado, reported the findings in the journal Science.

Nili Fossae is thought to have formed at least 3.6 billion years ago, giving an upper limit for the appearance of olivine on the surface.

The scientists wrote: "If the olivine was exposed shortly after the impact event, the martian surface may have been dry and cold for more than three billion years, but if the olivine was recently uncovered . . . it could have been cold and dry for as little as a few thousand years


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gem; green; mars; nasa; planet; red; rich

1 posted on 10/23/2003 6:41:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

2 posted on 10/23/2003 6:42:50 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

3 posted on 10/23/2003 6:44:48 PM PDT by realpatriot (Tagline moved to chat-admin moderator)
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To: blam
Hmmmm, little "green" men from mars?
4 posted on 10/23/2003 6:45:36 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: blam
How valuable is this gem? I hope De Beers doesn't find out! Their diamond monopoly is bad enough!
5 posted on 10/23/2003 6:46:06 PM PDT by xrp
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To: blam
but if the olivine was recently uncovered . . . it could have been cold and dry for as little as a few thousand years

blah, blah, blah.....let's get to the real question: can you cut it into a big ol' honkin solitaire I can wave around on my finger?

6 posted on 10/23/2003 6:47:10 PM PDT by ZinGirl
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To: McGavin999
No, that would be "little green Gems from Mars"
7 posted on 10/23/2003 6:47:37 PM PDT by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: blam
Very interesting- but do they have any cubic zirconium? The Home Shopping Network wants to know!
8 posted on 10/23/2003 6:59:57 PM PDT by RANGERAIRBORNE ("Si vis pacem, para bellum"- still good advice after 2000 years.)
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To: blam
I worked for an olivine mine back in the early 80's. We crushed it into sand for use as casting molds in the foundry industry.

I was never impressed with Peridot as a gemstone. It seems that its very difficult to find good quality stone of subtantial size that is free from inclusions of chromium.
9 posted on 10/23/2003 7:05:05 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: xrp
Here's a site that has some of the gem quality peridot for sale. More expensive than I thought.
10 posted on 10/23/2003 7:15:49 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: All

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11 posted on 10/23/2003 7:16:01 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: xrp
DeBeers has no chance against the evil Vilos Cohagen.



Only this man can beat the evil Cohagen.


12 posted on 10/23/2003 7:42:37 PM PDT by mattdono (Big Arnie; "Crush the democrats, drive them before you, and hear the lamentations of the scumbags.")
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To: blam
Where do I go to file the mining claim?
13 posted on 10/23/2003 7:54:12 PM PDT by Chewbacca (Nothing burps better than bacon!)
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To: blam
Possible 22nd century business opportunity?
14 posted on 10/23/2003 7:55:51 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: Chewbacca
As soon as you do, I'll guarantee you that all the turd worlders in the United Nations will want their cut.
15 posted on 10/23/2003 8:12:08 PM PDT by Rubber Duck
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To: blam
Olivine and peridot are common in the Mojave Desert.
16 posted on 10/23/2003 8:47:59 PM PDT by TaMoDee
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To: blam
Very cool. Too bad NASA didn't concentrate on a moon base two decades ago instead of the shuttle program. Otherwise, a Mars base might have been possible.

As it stands, the chicoms will likely get their first, between their stolen US technology and millions of Chinese willing to take the dangerous trek there. A few may be dumb enough to go because they believe the propaganda (likely involving lies of a workers utopia on Mars). The rest will go because hurling through frozen space in a compact ship is preferably to living in a communist country.

17 posted on 10/23/2003 8:54:43 PM PDT by Mulder (Fight the future)
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To: mattdono
Yes! I get a rare opportunity to post this again:

"Consider that a divorce."

'Course, that line was for Sharon Stone, not 'ol Ronny Cox. Still... ya gotta love those one-liners.

18 posted on 10/23/2003 9:00:38 PM PDT by Mike-o-Matic
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To: blam; Victoria Delsoul; PatrickHenry; Quila; Rudder; donh; VadeRetro; RadioAstronomer; ...




((((((growl)))))


19 posted on 10/23/2003 9:04:37 PM PDT by Sabertooth (No Drivers' Licences for Illegal Aliens. Petition SB60. http://www.saveourlicense.com/n_home.htm)
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To: bam
"The mineral, detected by the Mars Global Surveyor, was on the surface of the planet."

OK wait a minute, how is it MGS detects material differences again? Seems to me that Odyssey was the one with the multispectram camera onboard fellas. Was this written intentionally or just some journalistic oversight?

If it is a mistake on the part of the author it would be on a level with the BBC recently claiming that somehow at 2m/pixel Express would be able to look for Beagle2.

"Olivine is actually a name for a series between two end members, fayalite and forsterite. Fayalite is the iron rich member with a pure formula of Fe2SiO4. Forsterite is the magnesium rich member with a pure formula of Mg2SiO4."

Olivine

So which type primarilly is it we are seeing on Mars, or is the spacecraft not of a high enough resolution to discern such specific details?

From what we know of Mars would it not seem likely this is more like Fayalite? Also, it seems that the Si component remains relatively stable across these different configurations. I am curious how Themis (or MGS especially)could determine this to be Olivine specifically rather then specifically Fayalite and yet cannot seem to see through or discern differences between even a very fine layer of dust, a substance we already know to itself be rich in iron oxides?

Not to split hairs or anything,and for the reccord I truly do love both MGS and Mars Odyssey. ;)

It simply seems the presence of "silica in the noise" is not in itself enough to prove difinitively whether it represents deposits of Olivine, Fayalite, Forsterite, or wind-blown dunes in the Themis (or MGS) data, and therefor I would request more specific evidence and information as to how this determination specifically was made.

-- James
20 posted on 01/02/2004 7:19:15 PM PST by sgaileach1 (www.iparadigm.org)
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To: blam
It's a good thing Martians didn't invent dishwshing liquid.
21 posted on 01/02/2004 7:24:32 PM PST by Old Professer
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