Mars Rock, Named "Jake Matijevic" Most Unique Found on Mars



NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars rock named "Jake Matijevic" is most unique found on Mars so far. What makes it unique is the fact that its concentrations of elements such as sodium, aluminum and potassium, higher  and its concentrations of magnesium, iron and nickel lower, than other rocks studied on Mars. The standard model for how such a rock was formed by slow cooling such that minerals separate based on melting temperature. However this rock was crashed here after being ejected from a volcano meaning that it had to have cooled and solidified in flight which had to have happened in just a few minutes. The reason why this rock had to have be ejected from an erupting volcano was that it is broken off on one side and fractured at the bottom. showing that it hit the ground and hard. The nearest volcano is Albor Tholus being just 11W and 20N of Gale Crater and probably on the outer edge of where it could eject a rock this size.

This leave two possible way that is could have formed both of which are consistent with the Catastrophic Model of Martian Geology and a relatively short time span. One is that the rock was blown from Albor Tholus was already differentiated and thus it composition has nothing to do with its cooking. The other possibility is that it was rotating as it shot through the air at a fast enough rate that a lot of unsolidified minerals were ejected as it flew. The most likely case is that it is a combination of both at work.


Update

A third possible and even likely origin has come to light and that is Jake Matijevic was part of Albor Tholus and was blown from it in an eruption with out becoming molten. Under this scenario the rock that made up that part of  Albor Tholus would have already been differentiated and thus cooling time would not be a factor.


References

Catastrophic Model of Martian Geology

Mars, a Testament to Catastrophe

Curiosity Rover's Pet Mars Rock 'Jake' Unlike Any Seen on Red Planet

 

 

 

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