Researcher Shoshanna Cole has found what's been eroding the rocks on Mars - an acid fog caused by volcanic eruptions.
Cole makes her conclusion based on data received from the Spirit Mars Rover. While poring over the data, signs of a toxic fog, that once covered everything in sight, became evident in an area of about 100 acres in the Gale crater on Mars.
"We've registered the presence of a high ratio of iron oxide to the total amount of iron. This combination has led to the rocks losing their crystal structure. This is also why they've become more amorphous, " Cole is certain.
Cole's hypothesis is quite logical. Lab research experiments from 2004 confirms it.
During these same, they tested the effects of sulfuric and hydrochloric acid onto a surrogate of Martian basalt rocks. The result was the same as the one seen on the Martian rocks.
According to Cole, it was the acid vapors that had formed from volcanic eruptions that had caused the acid fog. It is believed her hypothesis will be well received by the scientific community.See more