Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in the world. The renowned Greek island surfaced 3,600 years ago in the wake of one of the most savage natural events: a powerful volcanic eruption. A new study has discovered that some of the rocks which were created during the event are similar to those find on Mars.
A team of researchers has explored the Balos Cove, found in the southern area of the island. Within the cove, they found basalt which is similar to the ones observed by rovers on Mars and also share properties which were identified in Martian meteorites and in the case of other rocks which are deemed to be similar.
The basalts found in the cove and other places around Santorini are plentiful, and they serve as an excellent base for experiments without the need to invest funds in acquiring olivine-phyric shergottites and other materials encountered by earth or synthetic replacements.
Santorini, The Famous Greek Island, Shares Some Traits With Mars
Optical microscopy and geochemical tests have revealed that the basalts encountered in the Balos Cove are useful for the study of the physical, chemical and geological traits and properties of rocks present on the surface of the Red Planet.
The same area of the island is a great site for experiments since it offers superior logistics for testing, calibrating and evaluating the performance of instruments, while also providing opportunities for field training and other activities which are tied to Mars exploration.
The paper mentions that the basalt samples are equivalent to those recovered by Spirit and Curiosity from the Gusev and Gale craters on Mars. The number of countries which are interested in the exploration of Mars has increased considerably in recent years as technological developments in the vein of new rockets, and crew capsules appeared. It is hoped that a crewed expedition could reach the planet in the following decades, but more work needs to be done.