I saw that specimen. If these are the "true" colors, the first thing that
really strikes me is that the blue color is highly reminiscent of the
mineral azurite. Just a thought.
You got it. At first it seeed to be an artifact of the stitching, but that
doesn't quite make sense with the curved boundaries.
Also note that the circular boundary between the light and dark pebbles has
"cracked" the overlying rocks:
Like it's a circular depression and the berries are rolling towards the
center of it?
I'm not any sort of geologist, but I've been vastly enjoying the ongoing
on the possible origin of the "blueberries". I don't have all the
vocabulary, but the
judicious use of a geological dictionary helps me over the rought patches.
It would be interesting to see a bit of the larger context..
Could the circular "berry bowl" simply be an airbag bounce mark?
Perhaps the bag impact knocked a lot of dust off?
It takes a little doing due to the difference in perspective but I did
identify this region on the panorama. The area behind the rocks (top)
is the side of a "dune" for lack of a better word (the loose material at
the crater edge). It doesn't look like the lander bounced/rolled that
far in that direction.
I can also add that this area is in the original hematite map. The
resolution is low, but it is possible to discern that there is no
difference in hematite content between the dark spherule regions and
that where the lighter shperules are found. In fact, it also appears
that, looking at places where there are high concentrations of
spherules, that they really aren't the source of hematite after all.
Perhaps the hematite is in the sand grains, maybe those blowing in from
beyond the crater.
I hate to say it. That is what I've been thinking all along. One of the
high resolution images of the spherules contained on spherule that has been
battered. On the right edge of that spherule I noticed a small crystal. It
was very small, but was obviously not the shape of hematite. Honestly,. it
looked more like a silicate than anything else, as it looked tetragonal or
orthrombic, not trigonal, as would be the case if it was hematite. Having
said that, the resolution wasn't high enough to get a good enough look at it
to make any real determination as to what the crystal form actually is. I
have a copy of this image, if you are interested. Unfortunately I am not
able to access my FTP site at the moment. If you want, I could e-mail it to
If the hematite is in the sand grains, what it confining it to Meridiani
Planum, an area several hundred miles in extent and reportedly a very
ancient surface (> 1 billion years)?
If it comes from the bedrock there, it is naturally confined to that area.
Yes. But only you are in trouble. Conclusions are called falsifiable hypotheses,
crackpot. You test them, with experiments, and further evidence,
to produce more conclusion and hypotheses. It's called the scientific method.
However, being the crackpot that you are, you ridicule, then
dismiss, and and remain skeptical, without offering any evidence, except that
you still remain a crackpot.
Thomas Lee Elifritz
Well, there you are dead wrong. The plagioclase on the Moon was formed
when the early Moon, just after accretion, developed a "magma ocean" in
which plagioclase flotation resulted in an anorthositic crust.
(Anorthosite is a rock made up mostly of a single mineral, plagioclase.)
The plag at the Apollo 14 site was excavated from the highland materials
(i.e., the brecciated remnants of the original lunar crust) in the
target area of the Imbrium impact. The Fra Mauro formation on which
Apollo 14 landed is a huge splash sheet of ejecta from the Imbrium
impact -- very little (if any) rock from the original local surface
remains on the surface at the landing site. According to the experts
who have studied the Apollo 14 rock samples, not even Cone Crater was
deep enough to punch through the Imbrium ejecta. So everything at Fra
Mauro was originally located somewhere in what is now Mare Imbrium.
The interesting thing is that there seems to have been a fair amount of
mare basalt in the Imbrium target rock, since many of the clasts and
some of the matrices in the breccias collected by Shepard and Mitchell
are indeed basaltic, and analyze out at anywhere from 3.9 to 4.1 billion
years old, considerably older than the age of the Imbrium impact itself
(which is somewhere between 3.83 and 3.86 billion years). But the
impact melt itself, as collected at Fra Mauro, is predominately noritic
(anorthosite with some admixture of olivine).
I'd like to see a cite for these "spherules" from the Apollo 14
collection -- I've seen a lot of discussion of the breccias from the
site, and seen it noted that ALL of the Apollo 14 samples are indeed
breccias. Perhaps you're thinking of spherical clasts within the
breccias? I'd love to know which sample numbers you're speaking of...
Thank you -- I have it here and will read through it. I guessed you
might have been talking about clasts in breccia -- which are rather
different in formation, crystallization, etc., than what we appear to be
seeing in the "blueberries" at Meridiani. But yes, I am very much
looking forward to reading this and I'll make some comments later today.
Again, thanks for the link!
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