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Press Release Images: Spirit
18-Aug-2004
Bedrock in Mars' Gusev Crater Hints at Watery Past
Full Press Release
 
Perched Above Gusev Crater
Perched Above Gusev Crater

This approximate true-color image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a rock outcrop dubbed "Longhorn," and behind it, the sweeping plains of Gusev Crater. On the horizon, the rim of Gusev Crater is clearly visible. The view is to the south of the rover's current position. The image consists of four frames taken by the 750-, 530- and 430-nanometer filters of Spirit's panoramic camera on sol 210 (August 5, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Soft Rock Yields Clues to Mars' Past
Soft Rock Yields Clues to Mars' Past

This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rock outcrop dubbed "Clovis." The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole into it with its rock abrasion tool. An analysis of the interior of the hole with the rover's scientific instruments found higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine compared to basaltic, or volcanic, rocks at Gusev. This might indicate that Clovis was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements. Spirit's solar panels can be seen in the foreground. This image was taken by the rover's navigation camera on sol 205 (July 31, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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'Clovis' in Color
'Clovis' in Color

This approximate true-color image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rock outcrop dubbed "Clovis." The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole into it with its rock abrasion tool. An analysis of the interior of the hole with the rover's scientific instruments found higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine compared to basaltic, or volcanic, rocks at Gusev. This might indicate that Clovis was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements. This image was taken by the 750-, 530- and 480-nanometer filters of the rover's panoramic camera on sol 217(Aug. 13, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis' - graph black
Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis'

This graph shows that the interior of the rock dubbed "Clovis" contains higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine than basaltic, or volcanic, rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater. The data were taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the rover dug into Clovis with its rock abrasion tool. The findings might indicate that this rock was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Max Planck Institute
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Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis' - graph white
Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis'

This graph shows that the interior of the rock dubbed "Clovis" contains higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine than basaltic, or volcanic, rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater. The data were taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the rover dug into Clovis with its rock abrasion tool. The findings might indicate that this rock was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Max Planck Institute
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image for 2004/08/18

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The Call of the Dark Rocks
The Call of the Dark Rocks

This false-color image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a group of darker rocks dubbed "Toltecs," lying to the southeast of the rover's current position. The rocks are believed to be basaltic, or volcanic, in composition because their color and spectral properties resemble those of basaltic rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater. Scientists hope to use these presumably unaltered rocks as a geologic standard for comparison to altered rocks in the area, such as "Clovis." This image was taken by the 750-, 530- and 430-nanometer filters of rover's panoramic camera on sol 220 (Aug. 15, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Where the Rocks Reside
Where the Rocks Reside

This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows an outcrop of layered bedrock in the "Columbia Hills." It was taken by the rover's panoramic camera on sol 217 (Aug. 13, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Window to 'Clovis's' Altered Past
Window to 'Clovis's' Altered Past

This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a rock outcrop dubbed "Clovis." The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole (center) into it with its rock abrasion tool. An analysis of the interior of the hole with the rover's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer found higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine compared to basaltic, or volcanic, rocks at Gusev. This might indicate that Clovis was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements. Spirit's solar panels can be seen in the foreground. This image was taken by the rover's navigation camera on sol 205 (July 31, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Layered Rocks in 'Columbia Hills'
Layered Rocks in 'Columbia Hills'

This black-and-white image shows the first layered rocks scientists have seen close up in Gusev Crater, where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit landed Jan. 4, 2004. While Spirit's twin rover, Opportunity, reached the stadium-size Endurance Crater on the other side of Mars and began exploring its many layered outcrops in early May, Spirit traveled more than 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) to get to this layered bedrock in the "Columbia Hills." Scientists are planning to conduct a study of these rocks to determine if they are volcanic or sedimentary in origin, and if they have been chemically altered. Spirit's panoramic camera took this image on sol 217 (Aug. 13, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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The Call of the Dark Rocks (true-color)
The Call of the Dark Rocks (true-color)

This approximate true-color rendering from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a set of darker rocks dubbed "Toltecs" lying southeast of the rover's current position. These rocks are believed to be basaltic, or volcanic, in composition, because their spectral properties match those of other basaltic rocks studied in Gusev Crater. Scientists hope to use these presumably unaltered rocks as a geologic standard for comparison to altered rocks in the area, such as "Clovis." This image was taken with the panoramic camera's 600-, 530-, and 480-nanometer filters on sol 220 (Aug. 15, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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