An artist's interpretation of early humans hunting mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius).

Mysterious mineral on Mars was spewed out by an explosive eruption 3 billion years ago

Silver dust drilled from a rock by NASA’s Curiosity rover on July 30, 2015. Analysis of the dust revealed that it contained the mineral tridymite, which was very unexpected. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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A mysterious Martian mineral that has puzzled scientists since its discovery seven years ago may have been ejected in an unusual volcanic eruption, researchers have revealed.This mineral, usually found only in Earthlikely formed on the Red Planet more than 3 billion years ago.

NASA’s curiosity The rover discovered the mineral on July 30, 2015, in a rock at the center of the 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer) Gale Crater. The rover drilled a small hole in the rock and extracted a silver dust sample.Curiosity on board X-ray The Diffraction Lab analyzed the dust and detected tridymite — a rare type of quartz made entirely of silica, or silica, formed by certain types of volcanic activity.

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