Spirit Does a "Jig" at Laguna Hollow
This front hazard-avoidance image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on sol 45 shows Spirit in its new location after a drive totaling about 20 meters (65.6 feet).
The circular depression that Spirit is in, dubbed "Laguna Hollow," was most likely formed by a small impact.
Scientists were interested in reaching Laguna Hollow because of the location's abundance of very fine, dust-like soil. The fine material could be atmospheric dust that has settled into the depression, or a salt-based material that causes crusts in the soils and coating on rocks. Either way, scientists hope to be able to characterize the material and broaden their understanding of this foreign world.
To help scientists get a better look at the variations in the fine-grained dust at different depths, controllers commanded Spirit to "jiggle" its wheels in the soil before backing away to a distance that allows the area to be reached with the robotic arm. Spirit will likely spend part of sol 46 analyzing this area with the instruments on its robotic arm.