Looks like shale. If that's the case, in 20 years, somebody will be proposing fracking on Mars. That's no crazier than mining asteroids.
Layered Rocks near Mount Sharp on MarsExplanation: What caused these Martian rocks to be layered? The leading hypothesis is an ancient Martian lake that kept evaporating and refilling over 10 million years -- but has now remained dry and empty of water for billions of years. The featured image, taken last November by the robotic Curiosity rover, shows one-meter wide Whale Rock which is part of the Pahrump Hills outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp. Also evident in the image is cross-bedding -- rock with angled layers -- which were likely facilitated by waves of sand. Curiosity continues to find many layered rocks like this as it continues to roll around and up 5.5-km high Mount Sharp.
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS
Monday, February 16, 2015
NASA Photo of the Day