Several years ago, the rover Opportunity found on the surface of the Red Planet’s Endeavour crater near the strange balls that later scientists and townsfolk dubbed blueberries. They were so similar to those of wild berries. The shell they seem crispy and soft insides.
They have different concentrations, different structures, different composition and distribution on the surface. Overall, appeared in front of us curious geological mystery – says Steve Squires , one of the leading researchers Mission Opportunity.
For a long time it was believed that they are proof that Mars billions of years ago there was water. Is shown by the large number of iron-bearing mineral hematite, which was discovered in strange balls. For its formation was to require ground water that could flow through porous rocks and at the same time be run balls. Problem with this theory is that it does not explain why the beads have a certain size.
New research astronomers University of Hawaii, the results of which were published in the journal Planetary and Space Science, offers another explanation. Probably the blueberry – only evidence of the fall of meteorites, which shattered into fragments, making his way through an unfriendly atmosphere of the Red Planet. Diameter spheres on average about four millimeters and not more than 6.2 mm .
Physical properties of spheres, such as the composition and shape, better explains the meteor theory – says a leading researcher Anupam Misra. The authors note that the hematite berries have a universal form. Diameter spheres on average about four millimeters and not more than 6.2 mm. Team Misra believes that 4-inch meteorite could spill thousands of bilberry berries on a fairly large area.
However, there are drawbacks and new theory. Analysis conducted rover instruments showed that berries were formed during the low-temperature process. At the same time, the collapse of the meteorite in the atmosphere of the Red Planet clearly is not.