Add Martian geology to the long list of upcoming topics (which also includes the Channeled Scablands, never fear). Ophelia put up this photo of some lovely Martian soil, which looks all the world like little pebbles in a stream bed. Several of you told her to contact me, which was perfect, because I’d already considered poking round. Yay, motivation!
I know very little about sedimentary rocks and even less about Mars geology, but after a few days of pondering it and then a night of searching, plus asking the author of the original piece for a link to the source photo, which he promptly provided, I’d got it. NASA captions are wonderful things, my friends! You can see the process unfold in the comments beginning here.
I’ll have a proper write-up eventually. And from now on, I’ll be keeping more of an eye on Martian geology. We’ve actually got some, now. I’m frankly in awe of the fact that we’re able to send robots to another world and do geology there. Another bloody world. What we learn will enormously expand our knowledge of geologic processes in the universe, and help us better understand our own particular rock in space. Oh, and did I mention: we’re doing geology on a different planet.
So yeah, what Ophelia said: “So, so amazing. Lucky us to be alive for it.”
In other news, we’ll have to set up some sort of Bat (or Popehat) signal for stuff like this. I can’t promise I’ll always be able to find an answer, and it certainly may be a while before I get to it (at least until I quit ye olde daye jobbe and have more time for such things), but it would be nice if we had our own special signalling system for stuff like this. Any ideas for what to call it/how to work it? Keeping in mind, of course, that I am the world’s worst correspondent, and frequently don’t check my email or Twitter for ages…