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"NASA Learning Objects: Mars Pathfinder Science Results: MAGNETICS" icon

NASA Learning Objects: Mars Pathfinder Science Results: MAGNETICS

4th grade science standards include magnetics. Have a look at this site. It allows for a short intro to magnetics and can lead into a discussion of soil types and the possible discovery of water. Recently, Pathfinder investigated the dust in the atmosphere of Mars by observing its deposition on a series of magnetic targets on the spacecraft. The dust, it turned out, is highly magnetic. It may consist of small silicate (perhaps clay) particles, with some stain or cement of a highly magnetic mineral known as maghemite. This, too, is consistent with a watery past. The iron may have dissolved out of crustal materials in water, and the maghemite may be a freeze-dried precipitate.
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