Mars Exploration Rovers Update - January 19, 2007

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status.html
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Studies Distinctive Rock Layers with Granules and
Platy Beds - sol 1079-1084, January 19, 2007:
Spirit is healthy and continues to make progress on scientific studies of a rock exposure known as "Montalva," which is one of the lower layers of an outcrop known as "Troll." Compositional data that Spirit collected using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer suggest the rock has high potassium content. To confirm this, scientists selected an adjacent exposure for further scrutiny.
In addition, Spirit began scientific analysis of an exposure known as "Riquelme" within the middle stratigraphic units of the "Troll" outcrop. Riquelme is composed of spherical particles that may be lapilli, which are pebble- to granule-size rocks ejected during a volcanic eruption. Spirit is also acquiring data about an upper exposure, nicknamed "Zucchelli," of thin platy beds in the outcrop using the panoramic camera and alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer.
During the week, Spirit acquired stereo panoramic camera images of the raised, circular plateau known as "Home Plate" for use in creating a digital elevation model. The navigation camera acquired movie frames in search of dust devils on the rover's 1082nd and 1084th sols, or Martian days of exploration (Jan. 18, 2007 and Jan. 20, 2007).
Science team members plan to have Spirit observe a transit of the Martian moon Phobos as it passes between the rover and the sun on sol 1083 (Jan. 19, 2007) and attempt to acquire panoramic camera images of comet McNaught at sunrise. It is possible that predawn sunlight will make the comet hard to see.
Dust levels have been returning to normal levels, with tau (a measure of how obscured the sun is when viewed through the atmosphere) dropping to 0.549 on sol 1081 and resulting in increased solar energy of 343 watt-hours. After recent dust storm activity on Mars, tau peaked at 1.136 on sol 1066 (Jan. 1, 2007), resulting in solar array energy of 276 watt-hours.
Sol-by-sol summary:
Sol 1079 (Jan. 15, 2006): Spirit placed the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer on a new, offset target near Montalva, acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer data on rock targets known as "Guillaume" and "von Neumayer," surveyed the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and spent 5 hours collecting data with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer.
Sol 1080: The panoramic camera acquired a full-color image of Zucchelli using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The microscopic imager inspected "Montalva Offset." The rover swung the robotic arm out of the way to take panoramic camera images of both that target and Riquelme. Spirit acquired microscopic images of Riquelme before placing the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer on the target. The rover surveyed a rock target known as "Lazarev" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1081: Spirit acquired panoramic camera images of Home Plate and the dune field known as "El Dorado." Spirit checked the calibration target and surveyed a target known as "Maud Land" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit acquired data using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer, images of the sky using the panoramic camera, and movie frames of potential dust devils using the navigation camera.
Sol 1082: Plans called for Spirit to measure atmospheric dust, survey the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectromter, and acquire data on "Riquelme3" using the Moessbauer spectrometer. Plans also called for Spirit to take images of the sky for calibration purposes using the panoramic and navigation cameras; survey the sky, ground, and a rock outcrop known as "d'Unville" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer; and take panoramic camera images of the Phobos transit.
Sol 1083: Plans called for Spirit to measure atmospheric dust opacity, acquire navigation camera and panoramic camera images of the sky for calibration purposes, and survey the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Plans also called for continued work on Riquelme3, during which Spirit was to acquire additional data about iron composition with the Moessbauer spectrometer. The rover was also to study "Zucchelli3" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1084 (Jan. 20, 2007): Plans called for Spirit to measure atmospheric dust, scan the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, continue Moessbauer analysis of Riquelme3, conduct miniature thermal emission spectrometer analysis of "Zucchelli4," and acquire navigation camera frames in search of dust devils. The next morning's activities were to include panoramic camera images of a soil slip known as "Lennox" and continued miniature thermal emission spectrometer analysis of "Zucchelli5."
Odometry:
As of sol 1081 (Jan. 17, 2006), Spirit's total odometry was 6,895 meters (4.28 miles).
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Studies Cobbles and Rock Exposures Around 'Victoria Crater' - sol 1057-1062, January 19, 2007:
Opportunity continues to make progress in acquiring long-baseline stereo images of "Victoria Crater." To do this, the rover moves laterally from one point to another between taking images with the left and right eyes of the panoramic camera. The path separating the images is known as a baseline and increases the apparent visual depth of features in the terrain.
During the past week, Opportunity drove across "Cabo Anonimo," a promontory on the northwest edge of Victoria Crater. From there, Opportunity took images of a face of "Cape Desire," the next promontory clockwise around the crater rim, on the other side of the "Bay of Toil." Opportunity then proceeded around the Bay of Toil on the way to Cape Desire.
Opportunity was scheduled to take a picture of comet McNaught on the morning of the rover's 1,063rd sol, or Martian day, of Mars exploration (Jan. 20, 2007).
Sol-by-sol summary:
In addition to daily observations that included measuring atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, searching for clouds with the navigation camera, surveying the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and imaging the sky with the panoramic camera, Opportunity completed the following activities:
Sol 1057 (Jan. 13, 2007): Opportunity measured atmospheric argon with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer and surveyed surface targets known as "Pacific," "Pacifico," and "Straight" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1058: Opportunity drove across Cabo Anonimo to the rim overlooking the Bay of Toil.
Sol 1059: Opportunity completed standard remote sensing activities.
Sol 1060: Opportunity acquired the first half of the long-baseline stereo pair of the Bay of Toil using the panoramic camera. The rover then drove 2 meters (7 feet) to get into position to acquire the second half of the baseline stereo pair.
Sol 1061: Opportunity acquired the second half of the baseline stereo pair of panoramic camera images, then proceeded driving around the Bay of Toil.
Sol 1062 (Jan. 18, 2007): Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images of a rock outcrop known as "Guam," exposed on the plains above the rim of Victoria Crater. The camera also photographed cobbles "Gallego," "Vasco" and "Gomes" along the rim. Opportunity acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer data on Gallego, the soil next to Gallego, and Vasco. Plans called for Opportunity to take snapshots of comet McNaught the next morning.
Odometry:
As of sol 1061 (Jan. 17, 2007), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,840 meters (6.1 miles).
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