The Focus forum is now closed.
We're sad to make this announcement because, over the years, the forum has provided fascinating debate on science and technology, and we’ve often printed the discussions in the magazine.
We’d like to thank everyone who’s joined in and made it such interesting reading for fellow forum members and all of us who work on the magazine.
Graham Southorn, BBC Focus magazine
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has found bright veins of a mineral, apparently gypsum, deposited by water. Analysis of the vein will help improve understanding of the history of wet environments on Mars.
"This tells a slam-dunk story that water flowed through underground fractures in the rock," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for Opportunity. "This stuff is a fairly pure chemical deposit that formed in place right where we see it. That can't be said for other gypsum seen on Mars or for other water-related minerals Opportunity has found. It's not uncommon on Earth, but on Mars, it's the kind of thing that makes geologists jump out of their chairs.
Red Planet Tomatoes, it's a natural.
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