NASA’s Curiosity Rover finds purple rocks on Mars

NASA�s Mars Curiosity rover has captured an up�close image of the red planet�s mountainous landscape, with purple-coloured rocks littered across the foreground.

NASA’s Curiosity Rover finds purple rocks on Mars

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has captured an up—close image of the red planet’s mountainous landscape, with purple-coloured rocks littered across the foreground.

The image captured from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Curiosity Mars rover shows purple - hued rocks near the rover’s late—2016 location on lower Mount Sharp.

NASA officials have called this a suggestion to a greater degree of diversity in the geological composition of the region, and a hint as to what caused Mars to lose most of its water.

The photos were taken near the base of 18,000-foot Mount Sharp, one of Mars's tallest summits. Curiosity has been exploring the slopes of the enormous mountain for over two years, sending photos back to NASA the entire time. Strong winds in the region keep the rocks free of the red dust that covers most of Mars, revealing their true colour, which, in this case, is purple.

NASA stated that the purple coloration is caused by the presence of hematite, an iron oxide commonly used on Earth as a pigment, or jewellery component. Scientists studying Mars find the presence of hematite interesting, as it is typically formed in aqueous environment, suggesting that water may have once been present in the are