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

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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
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and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at
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.
-end-
Reply to
Ron
Loading thread data ...
And "Mazatzal"
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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]
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(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 !
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Enjoy and trust your eyes this is for real, ERic Pouhier
The Video is made from this series
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Mars, we have no choice, the empirical method shall prevail.
===END===
"Ron" a écrit dans le message news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com...
Reply to
Eric Pouhier
"Eric Pouhier" wrote
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
Count me!
MER team is fantastic, it's just great !
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Seriously thatanks for the movie though. Pretty cool demo of the camera bloom.
Joe
Reply to
Joe Knapp
On a sunny day (Fri, 2 Apr 2004 07:19:23 +0200) it happened "Eric Pouhier" wrote in :
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on SOL
Imager :: Sol 084 see somthing FLOWING from
windows media player 9 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
Reply to
Jan Panteltje
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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on SOL
Imager :: Sol 084 see somthing FLOWING from
windows media player 9
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
MER team is fantastic, it's just great !
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On Mars, we have no choice, the empirical method shall prevail.
snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com...
Reply to
El Guapo
The images are not up side down at all, I don't get your point !?!
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(175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
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Trust your eyes this is for real ! ERic
"El Guapo" a écrit dans le message news: G_gbc.60673$K91.148158@attbi_s02...
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MELTED on SOL
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>
The images are not up side down at all, I don't get your point !?!
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(175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
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Trust your eyes this is for real ! ERic
Reply to
Eric Pouhier
On a sunny day (Fri, 02 Apr 2004 16:15:55 GMT) it happened "Joe Knapp" wrote in :
Possible, but 'bloom' in a camera from a BLACK object I have never seen. And I have some 34 years experience with cameras, designed one too. If fact 'bloom' should not happen. There is also a bending to the right and acceleration of whatever it is then. It cannot be a shadow i think, because it is tapered, and then changing form too. And why only downwards :-), and very precisely too (change direction). JP
Reply to
Jan Panteltje
"Joe Knapp" a écrit dans le message news: %kgbc.19935$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr28.news.prodigy.com...
Impossible please have a closer look :o)
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(175 Ko) video for the windows media player 9
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I don't know what to say ! denial of service .... denial of service .... denial of service .... denial of service ....
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your eyes this is for real ! ERic
Reply to
Eric Pouhier
OK,
Here's the picture of the "melted" mark taken with the microscopic imager:
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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:
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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?
windows media player 9
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G_gbc.60673$K91.148158@attbi_s02...
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> MELTED on SOL
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once-drilled
windows media player 9
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Reply to
El Guapo
Your are correct, but as the Microscopicimager (MI) is mounted on the rov arm, and depending on the arm position and on the tool used just before the MI, the image orientation can change by 180° or 90°CW or 90°CCW. Now I get your point, but is there a clue about the sol 84 series ?
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what is your understanding of what we see on the video ?
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??
Best, ERic
"El Guapo" a écrit dans le message news: h1pbc.163886$_w.1790496@attbi_s53...
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>
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> > MELTED on SOL
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Reply to
Eric Pouhier
"El Guapo" wrote in message:
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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:
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"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
Reply to
Simeon Nevel
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.
arm, and depending on the arm position and on
or 90°CW or 90°CCW.
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??
h1pbc.163886$_w.1790496@attbi_s53...
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>
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the
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> > > MELTED on SOL
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the
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Reply to
El Guapo

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