Spirit & Opportunity Year Highlights
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Spirit Says Goodbye to 'Home Plate'Spirit examined spectacular layered rocks exposed at "Home Plate." The rover has drove around the northern and eastern edges of Home Plate, on the way to "McCool Hill." Before departing, Spirit took this image showing some of the most complex layering patterns seen so far at this location.
The layered nature of these rocks presents new questions for the rover team. In addition to their chemical properties, which scientists can study using Spirit's spectrometers, these rocks record a detailed history of the physical properties that formed them. In the center of this image, one group of layers slopes downward to the right. The layers above and below this group are more nearly horizontal. Where layers of different orientations intersect, other layers are truncated. This indicates that there were complex patterns of alternating erosion and deposition occurring when these layers were being deposited. Similar patterns can be found in some sedimentary rocks on Earth. Physical relationships among the various layers exposed at Home Plate are crucial evidence in understanding how these Martian rocks formed. Scientists suspect that the rocks at Home Plate were formed in the aftermath of a volcanic explosion or impact event, and they are investigating the possibility that wind may also have played a role in redistributing materials after such an event.
Images like this one from panoramic camera (Pancam), which shows larger-scale layering, as well as those from the microscopic imager, which reveal the individual sand-sized grains that make up these rocks, are essential to understanding the geologic history of Home Plate.
This view is a false-color rendering that combines separate images taken through the Pancam's 753-nanometer, 535-namometer, and 432-nanometer filters, enhanced to emphasize color differences among the rocks and soils. It was taken during Spirit's 774th Martian day (March 8, 2006).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell