12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
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
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Crystal-Laden Martian Rock Examined by Curiosity's Laser InstrumentAs NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is progressing toward Mount Sharp, researchers are using the rover's instruments to examine soils and rocks in Gale Crater. On the mission's 514th sol, or Martian day (Jan. 15, 2014) the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument examined a rock target called "Harrison" with its Remote Micro-Imaging (RMI) camera and its laser. This is an RMI image of the rock, which is loose on the surface inside Gale Crater, not part of an outcrop.
Harrison contains elongated, light-colored crystals in a darker matrix. The 4.5-millimeter scale bar at lower right is about one-sixth of an inch long. Some of the crystals are up to about 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) in size.
The RMI and ChemCam's laser were about 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) from the target. At that distance, the laser can sample areas less than 0.016 inch (0.4 millimeter) in diameter. Thanks to this small sampling area, ChemCam provides constraints on the composition of each constituent in the rock: The elongated crystals are likely feldspars, while the matrix is pyroxene-dominated, an association typical of basaltic igneous rocks. This texture provides compelling evidence for igneous rocks at Gale Crater.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS