This image shows finely layered rocks interspersed with sand sloping downward and inward toward the center of the panorama from either side. Here and there on the outcrop, a chunk of rock has become displaced and lies at an angle on the surface

June 03, 2006

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this high-resolution view of intricately layered exposures of rock while parked on the northwest edge of the bright, semi-circular feature known as "Home Plate." The rover was perched at a 27-degree upward tilt while creating the panorama, resulting in the "U" shape of the mosaic. Figure 1: (a) the northern edge of Home Plate, (b) the coarse-grained lower unit, (c) the fine-grained upper unit.

Spirit acquired 246 separate images of this scene using 6 different filters on the panoramic camera (Pancam) during the rover's Martian days, or sols, 748 through 751 (Feb. 9 through Feb. 12, 2006). The field of view covers 160 degrees of terrain around the rover.

Evidence of Volcanic Explosion
The lower coarse-grained unit shows granular textures toward the bottom of the image and massive textures (figure 2). Also shown is a feature interpreted to be a "bomb sag," which is four centimeters across. This false color image was obtained using Spirit's panoramic camera.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Cornell University


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