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Mars May Have Acid Fog for Its Weird Weather

First Posted: Nov 02, 2015 07:43 PM EST

Mars may not have weather like can be found on Earth, but it certainly may have its own version of weather: acid fog. Scientists have found that this weird type of weather may just be present on the Red Planet.

In this latest study, the researchers focused on the "Watchtower Class" outcrops on Cumberland Ridge and the Husband Hill summit. By combining data from previous studies of the area on Mars, the scientists spotted some intriguing patterns.

"The special thing about Watchtower Class is that it's very widespread and we see it in different locations," said Shoshanna Cole, one of the researchers, in a news release. "As far as we can tell, it's part of the ground there."

The researchers found that the chemical composition of the rocks examined was the same in some instruments, but looked different to others. In fact, the scientists found a surprisingly wide range in the proportion of oxidized iron to total iron, as if something had reacted with the iron in these rocks to different degrees.

The fact that the rocks were otherwise the same indicates that they were once identical. This means that something happened to them to make them different. In this case, the researchers believe the rocks were exposed to acidic vapor from volcanic eruptions, similar to corrosive volcanic smog.

The findings reveal a bit more about Mars. More specifically, they show how the Red Planet's weather might have been like in the past.

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