PIA05048: Airbag Trail Dubbed "Magic Carpet"
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Spirit
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 1024 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA05048.tif (2.906 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA05048.jpg (131.7 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Click on the image for Airbag Trail Dubbed
Click on the image for Airbag Trail Dubbed "Magic Carpet" (QTVR)

figure 1 for PIA05048figure 2 for PIA05048
Magic Carpet Close-upMagic Carpet Close-up HD

This section of the first color image from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has been further processed to produce a sharper look at a trail left by the one of rover's airbags. The drag mark was made after the rover landed and its airbags were deflated and retracted. Scientists have dubbed the region the "Magic Carpet" after a crumpled portion of the soil that appears to have been peeled away (lower left side of the drag mark). Rocks were also dragged by the airbags, leaving impressions and "bow waves" in the soil. The mission team plans to drive the rover over to this site to look for additional clues about the composition of the martian soil. This image was taken by Spirit's panoramic camera.

This extreme close-up image (see insets above) highlights the martian feature that scientists have named "Magic Carpet" because of its resemblance to a crumpled carpet fold. Scientists think the soil here may have detached from its underlying layer, possibly due to interaction with the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's airbag after landing. This image was taken on Mars by the rover's panoramic camera.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Cornell

Image Addition Date:
2004-01-12