crystals in rock

February 09, 2018

The dark, stick-shaped features clustered on this Martian rock are about the size of grains of rice. This is a focus-merged view from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. It covers an area about 2 inches (5 centimeters) across.

The focus-merged product was generated autonomously by MAHLI combining the in-focus portions of a few separate images taken at different focus settings on Jan. 1, 2018, during the 1,922nd Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. This rock target, called "Haroldswick," is near the southern, uphill edge of "Vera Rubin Ridge" on lower Mount Sharp.

The origin of the stick-shaped features is uncertain. One possibility is that they are erosion-resistant bits of dark material from mineral veins cutting through rocks in this area.

MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at and




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