03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
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
Mineral Content Comparison at Two Gale Crater SitesThis graphic shows proportions of minerals identified in mudstone exposures at the "Yellowknife Bay" location where NASA's Curiosity Mars rover first analyzed bedrock, in 2013, and at the "Murray Buttes" area investigated in 2016.
Minerals were identified by X-ray diffraction analysis of sample powder from the rocks. The samples were acquired by drilling and delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument inside the rover.
Two key differences in the Murray Buttes mudstone include hematite rather than magnetite, and far less abundance of crystalline mafic minerals, compared to the Yellowknife Bay mudstone composition. Hematite and magnetite are both iron oxide minerals, with hematite as a more oxidized one. That difference could result from the Murray Buttes mudstone layer experiencing more weathering than the Yellowknife Bay mudstone. More weathering could also account for the lower abundance of crystalline mafics, which are volcanic-origin minerals such as pyroxene and olivine.
The Yellowknife Bay site is on the floor of Gale Crater. The Murray Buttes site is on lower Mount Sharp, the layered mound in the center of the crater. A map at http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=8192 shows these locations.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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