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Detection of perchlorate and the soluble chemistry of martian soil at the Phoenix lander site.

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      Abstract

      The Wet Chemistry Laboratory on the Phoenix Mars Lander performed aqueous chemical analyses of martian soil from the polygon-patterned northern plains of the Vastitas Borealis. The solutions contained approximately 10 mM of dissolved salts with 0.4 to 0.6% perchlorate (ClO4) by mass leached from each sample. The remaining anions included small concentrations of chloride, bicarbonate, and possibly sulfate. Cations were dominated by Mg2+ and Na+, with small contributions from K+ and Ca2+. A moderately alkaline pH of 7.7 +/- 0.5 was measured, consistent with a carbonate-buffered solution. Samples analyzed from the surface and the excavated boundary of the approximately 5-centimeter-deep ice table showed no significant difference in soluble chemistry.

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      Mars surface diversity as revealed by the OMEGA/Mars Express observations.

      The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) investigation, on board the European Space Agency Mars Express mission, is mapping the surface composition of Mars at a 0.3- to 5-kilometer resolution by means of visible-near-infrared hyperspectral reflectance imagery. The data acquired during the first 9 months of the mission already reveal a diverse and complex surface mineralogy, offering key insights into the evolution of Mars. OMEGA has identified and mapped mafic iron-bearing silicates of both the northern and southern crust, localized concentrations of hydrated phyllosilicates and sulfates but no carbonates, and ices and frosts with a water-ice composition of the north polar perennial cap, as for the south cap, covered by a thin carbon dioxide-ice veneer.
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        Chemical composition of Martian fines

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          Chemistry of rocks and soils at Meridiani Planum from the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer.

          The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the Opportunity rover determined major and minor elements of soils and rocks in Meridiani Planum. Chemical compositions differentiate between basaltic rocks, evaporite-rich rocks, basaltic soils, and hematite-rich soils. Although soils are compositionally similar to those at previous landing sites, differences in iron and some minor element concentrations signify the addition of local components. Rocky outcrops are rich in sulfur and variably enriched in bromine relative to chlorine. The interaction with water in the past is indicated by the chemical features in rocks and soils at this site.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA. michael.h.hecht@jpl.nasa.gov
            Journal
            Science
            Science (New York, N.Y.)
            American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
            1095-9203
            0036-8075
            Jul 03 2009
            : 325
            : 5936
            19574385
            325/5936/64
            10.1126/science.1172466

            Comments

            W Ming-Shiang,  Jessica S. West, and Wilson K. Smith are not an authors on this paper.  The author order is all wrong.

            2017-06-02 16:21 UTC
            +1

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