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
Mudstone Mineralogy from Curiosity's CheMin, 2013 to 2016This series of pie charts shows similarities and differences in the mineral compositions of mudstones at 10 sites where NASA's Curiosity Mars rover collected rock-powder samples and analyzed them with the rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument.
The charts are arrayed in chronological order, with an indication of relative elevation as the rover first sampled two sites on the floor of Gale Crater in 2013 and later began climbing the crater's central mound, Mount Sharp. The pie chart farthest to the right and uphill shows composition at the "Sebina" target, sampled in October 2016. Five non-mudstone rock targets that the rover drilled and analyzed within this time frame are not included.
The mineralogical variations in these mudstones may be due to differences in any or all of these factors: the source materials deposited by water that entered lakes, the processes of sedimentation and rock forming, and how the rocks were later altered.
One trend that stands out is that the mineral jarosite -- shown in purple -- was more prominent in the "Pahrump Hills" area of lower Mount Sharp than at sites examined either earlier or later. Jarosite is an indicator of acidic water. Mudstone layers uphill from Pahrump Hills have barely detectable amounts of jarosite, indicating a shift away from acidic conditions in these overlying -- thus younger -- layers. Clay minerals, shown as green, declined in abundance at sites midway through this series, then came back as the rover climbed higher.
Each drilled-and-analyzed target is identified with a two-letter abbreviation: JK for "John Klein," CB for "Cumberland." CH for "Confidence Hills," MJ for "Mojave," TP for "Telegraph Peak," BK for "Buckskin," OD for "Oudam," MB for "Marimba," QL for "Quela," and SB for Sebina. For locations and photos of these drilling sites, see http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=8202.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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