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Press Release Images: Spirit
25-Jun-2004
Mars Rover Surprises Continue; Spirit, Too, Finds Hematite
Full Press Release
A 'Pot of Gold' Rich with Nuggets
A 'Pot of Gold' Rich with Nuggets

This close-up image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit highlights the nodular nuggets that cover the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold." These nuggets appear to stand on the end of stalk-like features. The surface of the rock is dotted with fine-scale pits. Data from the rover's scientific instruments have shown that Pot of Gold contains the mineral hematite, which can be formed with or without water.

Scientists are planning further observations of this rock, which they hope will yield more insight into the hematite's origins as well as how the enigmatic nuggets formed.

This image was taken by Spirit's microscopic imager on sol 162 (June 17, 2004). The observed area is 3 centimeters by 3 centimeters (1.2 inches by 1.2 inches).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS
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A 'Pot of Gold' Rich with Nuggets (Sol 163)
A 'Pot of Gold' Rich with Nuggets (Sol 163)

This close-up image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit highlights the nodular nuggets that cover the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold." These nuggets appear to stand on the end of stalk-like features. The surface of the rock is dotted with fine-scale pits. Data from the rover's scientific instruments have shown that Pot of Gold contains the mineral hematite, which can be formed with or without water.

Scientists are planning further observations of this rock, which they hope will yield more insight into the hematite's origins as well as how the enigmatic nuggets formed.

This image was taken by Spirit's microscopic imager on sol 163 (June 18, 2004). The observed area is 3 centimeters by 3 centimeters (1.2 inches by 1.2 inches).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS
Browse Image (156 kB) | Large (395 kB)
A 'Pot of Gold' Rich with Nuggets (Sol 163-2)
A 'Pot of Gold' Rich with Nuggets (Sol 163-2)

This close-up image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit highlights the nobular nuggets that cover the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold." These nuggets appear to stand on the end of stalk-like features. The surface of the rock is dotted with fine-scale pits. Data from the rover's scientific instruments have shown that Pot of Gold contains the mineral hematite, which can be formed with or without water.

Scientists are planning further observations of this rock, which they hope will yield more insight into the hematite's origins as well as how the enigmatic nuggets formed.

This image was taken by Spirit's microscopic imager on sol 163 (June 18, 2004). The observed area is 3 centimeters by 3 centimeters (1.2 inches by 1.2 inches).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS
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Spirit, Too, Finds Hematite
Spirit, Too, Finds Hematite

These graphs, or spectra, shows evidence for the mineral hematite in the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold," located at Gusev Crater. The data was taken from the surface of the rock with the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's Moessbauer spectrometer on sols 161 and 163 (June 16 and 18, 2004). The top red line is the spectrum for Pot of Gold, and the bottom blue line is for a typical basaltic, or volcanic, rock in Gusev Crater. The two large peaks in the center represent non-hematite, iron-containing minerals, while the smaller set of six peaks (two are hidden in the larger peaks) in the top spectrum is the signature of hematite. Hematite, which is found on Earth, can be formed in three different ways: in standing water; in small amounts of hot fluids (hydrothermal processes); and in volcanic rock. Scientists are planning further observations of this and other rocks in the area, which they hope will yield more insight into the hematite's origins.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/University of Mainz
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In the Shadows
In the Shadows

This image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a close-up of the rock dubbed "Pot of Gold," located near the base of the "Columbia Hills" in Gusev Crater. The rock's nodules and layered appearance inspired rover team members to investigate the rock's detailed chemistry, which revealed hematite. Further investigation may reveal whether water was involved in the formation of that hematite, or whether the hematite formed in dry conditions. This image was taken on sol 164 (June 19, 2004).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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