Who knew? The Isle of Rum has interplanetary significance
On a planet far, far away, NASA’s Perseverance Rover is currently collecting rocks from the surface of Mars with the aim of returning them to Earth in 2033. While, here on earth, scientists are working on the Scottish Island of Rum to support this work by collecting rocks which are very similar in mineral and chemical content to those that will be found on Mars, and therefore providing NASA with the perfect practise testing materials. Scientists will study the rocks from Rum to better understand the methods of testing that will be required for the Martian Rocks on their arrival on Earth in ten years time.
The rocks are to be gathered from the NatureScot National Nature Reserve (NNR) on Rum and this is the only UK site for sampling. You can read more on this story on the BBC News site.
Find out more about the geology of Scotland in the Set in Stone series of books by Alan McKirdy.