These images from the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover indicate similarly dark material, but with very different chemistries, in mineral veins at "Garden City."
Each of the side-by-side circular images covers an area about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter. The images were taken by ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager. Researchers used ChemCam's laser, telescope and spectrometers to examine the chemistry of material in these veins.
While both of these veins are dark, their chemistries are very different, indicating that they were formed by different fluids. One common aspect of the chemistry in the dark material is an iron content higher than nearby bedrock. Thus the dark appearance may be result of similar iron content. The dark maerial in the vein on the left is enriched in calcium and contains calcium fluorine. The dark material in the vein on the right is enriched in magnesium, but not in calcium or calcium fluorine. Thus, the veins were formed by different fluids that deposited minerals in rock fractures.
The Remote Micro-Imager took the image on the left on March 27, 2015, during the 938th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The next day, it took the image on the right.
A broader view of the prominent mineral veins at Garden City is at PIA19161.
ChemCam is one of 10 instruments in Curiosity's science payload. The U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, developed ChemCam in partnership with scientists and engineers funded by the French national space agency (CNES), the University of Toulouse and the French national research agency (CNRS). More information about ChemCam is available at http://www.msl-chemcam.com.
More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.