The Veins of Mars

Your crater stands abandoned in the dirt,

As thirsty dreams evaporate for good;

Beneath your dusty surface pressures spurt,

Leaving behind deposits in the mud.

They burn you with their sulphate-silic blood,

And your horizons change beyond repair;

Then ground water appears like a lost flood,

Leaving behind pure sulphur in your lair.

We cut you with a knife and steal without a care.

 

A Drill hole in the Yellowknife Bay, made by the Mars Curiosity rover. The drill hole is 1.6 cm in diameter, and the white scale bar at the bottom right of this picture is 2 cm in length (Photo Credit: University of Leicester).
A Drill hole in the Yellowknife Bay, made by the Mars Curiosity rover. The drill hole is 1.6 cm in diameter, and the white scale bar at the bottom right of this picture is 2 cm in length (Photo Credit: University of Leicester).

 

This is a Spenserian stanza, inspired by recent research that used the Mars Curiosity rover to study mineral veins on Mars, specifically in the Yellowknife Bay area of the Gale Crater. The study found that these mineral veins were most likely created following the evaporation of ancient Martian lakes, which left behind sulphate- and silica-rich deposits. These deposits were subsequently broken down by ground water, leaving behind the pure sulphate veins that were observed by the Mars Curiosity rover. These rocks and their sulphate veins were also found to be close in composition to rocks from the Watchet Bay area in North Somerset in the United Kingdom.

 

An audio version of the poem can be heard here.

Leave a Comment

Share This
%d bloggers like this: