Bands of mineral deposits curl through sand dunes in a high-resolution satellite picture of the Valles Marineris region of Mars released June 7 and taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Scientists studying the minerals have detected the chemical signatures of exotic components likely formed by water in Mars’s distant past—including light-colored bands that may be made of opal.
Unfortunately for jewelry lovers, the Martian deposits are not likely to include gemstone quality rocks. But the bands may hold treasure of a different sort: Opals on Earth are known to preserve fossils and other biological evidence.
Source: National Geographic