Spirit Finds Multi-Layer Hints of Past Water at Mars' Gusev Site

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov
Guy Webster (818) 354-5011 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Donald Savage (202) 358-1547 NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
NEWS RELEASE: 2004-093 April 1, 2004
Spirit Finds Multi-Layer Hints of Past Water at Mars' Gusev Site
Clues from a wind-scalloped volcanic rock on Mars investigated by NASA's Spirit rover suggest repeated possible exposures to water inside Gusev Crater, scientists said Thursday.
Gusev is halfway around the planet from the Meridiani region where Spirit's twin, Opportunity, recently found evidence that water used to flow across the surface.
"This is not water that sloshed around on the surface like what appears to have happened at Meridiani. We're talking about small amounts of water, perhaps underground," said Dr. Hap McSween, a rover science team member from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
"The evidence is in the form of multiple coatings on the rock, as well as fractures that are filled with alteration material and perhaps little patches of alteration material," McSween said during a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The rock, called "Mazatzal" after mountains in Arizona, lies partially buried near the rim of the crater informally named "Bonneville" inside the much larger Gusev Crater. Its light-toned appearance grabbed scientists' attention. After Spirit's rock abrasion tool brushed two patches on the surface with wire bristles, a gray, darker layer could be seen under the tan topcoat. The rock abrasion tool ground into the surface with diamond cutting teeth on March 26. Then, after an examination of the newly exposed material, it ground deeper into the rock two days later. A lighter-gray interior lies under the darker layer, and a bright stripe cuts across both.
Dr. Jeff Johnson, a science team member from the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Team, Flagstaff, Ariz., said the stripe "seems to be a fracture that water has flowed through, potentially with minerals precipitating from that fluid and lining the walls of the crack."
He and other scientists stressed that the interpretations are preliminary. "The team is, as always, trying to find time to digest these observations while also preparing for the next day's operations," Johnson said.
Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer checked what chemical elements were close to the surface of untreated, brushed, once-drilled and twice-drilled patches. "Miracles, miracles, miracles. We have a lot of work to do," the instrument's lead scientist, Dr. Rudi Rieder of the Max Planck Institute, Mainz, Germany, exclaimed about the results. For example, the ratio of bromine to chlorine seen inside the rock is unusually high and possibly a clue to alteration by water.
The final experiment on Mazatzal was to scrub the surface with the rock abrasion tool in a pattern of five circles arranged in a ring, with a sixth circle in the center. Besides creating a rock-art daisy, this task by the engineers of New York-based Honeybee Robotics, as well as JPL, produced a brushed patch big enough to fill the field of view of Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer, said Dr. Steve Ruff of Arizona State University, Tempe. The tan outer surface appears to have a strikingly different mineral composition than the dark gray coating exposed by the brushing, but more time is needed to complete the analysis, he said.
McSween proposed that the light outer coat, dark inner coat and bright veins could have resulted from three different periods of the rock being buried, altered by fluids and unburied.
While scientists await transmission of additional data Spirit has collected about Mazatzal, the rover will be making its way toward the "Columbia Hills" about 2.3 kilometers (1.3 miles) away. Spirit left the rock and drove 36.5 meters (120 feet) early Thursday.
Opportunity set a one-day driving record on Mars on March 27 by covering 48.9 meters (160 feet) toward a rock called "Bounce Rock" because airbag bounce marks show that the spacecraft hit it on landing day two months ago. "We're looking to break that record again very soon with longer and longer drives," said JPL's Chris Lewicki, flight director.
Before moving on across the plains of Meridiani, though, Opportunity will complete an investigation it has begun of Bounce Rock. The rock is unlike any seen on Mars before, said Dr. Jim Bell, lead scientist for the rovers' panoramic cameras. "There are some shiny surfaces on this rock," he said, describing them as "almost mirrorlike."
The two rovers' 18 cameras have now taken more than 20,000 images. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Images and additional information about the project are available from JPL at
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov
and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at
http://athena.cornell.edu/ .
-end-
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And "Mazatzal"
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
MELTED on SOL 084 !
Download a video I made from the last 19 images of the Spirit Microscopic Imager :: Sol 084 see somthing FLOWING from "Mazatzal"! [seriously] http://tourlaville.nerim.net/Therockthatmelted.wmv (175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
I don't know exactly how the JPL guys did this, but they managed to heat it and they cached images of a flowing fluid with the microscopic imager. The "hot part" (it can't be many watts has the rover is a quite low power rov) they applied to the RAT hole is completely out of focus, but the way this martian boulder melted is let say a definitive clue about water location on mars.
Is there anyone still beleiving that the martian strange boulders are made of rock ?
Look how it looks like the day after the melting experiment. Anyway the MER team is fantastic, it's just great ! http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/m/085/2M133915298EFF2232P2979M2M1.HTML
Enjoy and trust your eyes this is for real, ERic Pouhier
The Video is made from this series http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_m084.html On Mars, we have no choice, the empirical method shall prevail.
===END==

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Imager :: Sol 084 see somthing FLOWING from

windows media player 9
That's bloom of the CCD camera.

it and they cached images of a flowing

has the rover is a quite low power rov) they

martian boulder melted is let say a definitive

of rock ?
Count me!

MER team is fantastic, it's just great !

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/m/085/2M133915298EFF2232P2979M2M1.HTML
Seriously thatanks for the movie though. Pretty cool demo of the camera bloom.
Joe
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On a sunny day (Fri, 02 Apr 2004 16:15:55 GMT) it happened "Joe Knapp"

Possible, but 'bloom' in a camera from a BLACK object I have never seen. And I have some 34 years experience with cameras, designed one too. If fact 'bloom' should not happen. There is also a bending to the right and acceleration of whatever it is then. It cannot be a shadow i think, because it is tapered, and then changing form too. And why only downwards :-), and very precisely too (change direction). JP
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Impossible please have a closer look :o) http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_m084.html http://tourlaville.nerim.net/Therockthatmelted.wmv (175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg

I don't know what to say ! denial of service .... denial of service .... denial of service .... denial of service ....

http://tourlaville.nerim.net/Therockthatmelted.wmv Trust your eyes this is for real ! ERic
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On a sunny day (Fri, 2 Apr 2004 07:19:23 +0200) it happened "Eric Pouhier"
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
MELTED on SOL

Good work, nice movie :-) Confirms my idea that some frozen water pools are there. Maybe some water went in capilary in the rocks too, and the froze.
JP
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I don't know, man. The microscopic imager pictures seem to be upside down, which you can see when you compare them to the shots showing the full rock. So did the melting ice flow up instead of down? I know that Mars is a strange place, but still, I think the laws of gravity still apply there.

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The images are not up side down at all, I don't get your point !?! http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_m084.html http://tourlaville.nerim.net/Therockthatmelted.wmv (175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
Trust your eyes this is for real ! ERic

The images are not up side down at all, I don't get your point !?! http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_m084.html http://tourlaville.nerim.net/Therockthatmelted.wmv (175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
Trust your eyes this is for real ! ERic
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OK,
Here's the picture of the "melted" mark taken with the microscopic imager:
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/m/085/2M133916471EFF2232P2967M1M1.HTML
Note that the larger part of the melted area is at the top, with the narrower fork at the bottom. Certainly looks it could have been melted at the top and the liquid ran down from there. This also coincides with what is seen in your video.
Now, here is a full picture of the rock:
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/p/086/2P134001287EFF2238P2599L5M1.HTML
Notice which way the mark is pointed? Yup, with the larger part at the bottom, and the thinner part at the top. Exactly the opposite of the microscopic imager picture, which means that the microscopic imager picture is upside down. So did the melted water run up rather than down?

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http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
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Your are correct, but as the Microscopicimager (MI) is mounted on the rov arm, and depending on the arm position and on the tool used just before the MI, the image orientation can change by 180 or 90CW or 90CCW. Now I get your point, but is there a clue about the sol 84 series ? http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_m084.html And what is your understanding of what we see on the video ? http://tourlaville.nerim.net/Therockthatmelted.wmv ??
Best, ERic

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
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No, I don't know what those pictures are. As somebody else mentioned, the "melting" effect might be due to image bloom. As to what the light source is, or what the pictures are, or why they were taken in the first place, I have no idea.

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http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040401a/NewYork_Brushed-A087R1_br.jpg
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http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/m/085/2M133916471EFF2232P2967M1M1.HTML
Actually, I read somewhere on the Rover site that the "melted" area you're referring to is simply a bit of the crust/rind of the rock that that RAT didn't grind away.
See:
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040330a.html
"Because Mazatzal's surface was not even, the left half of the rock was penetrated more deeply than the right. As can be seen in this image, the right, darker portion of the rock is still covered by the rind material."
I have no idea what the melting effect we saw from the animation was.
Simeon
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