PIA04195: Opportunity Examines Cracks and Coatings on Mars Rocks
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
 Spacecraft:  Opportunity
 Instrument:  Panoramic Camera
 Product Size:  1024 x 1024 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Cornell University 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA04195.tif (3.15 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA04195.jpg (262.6 kB)

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This false-color panoramic image, taken on martian day, or sol, 561 (Aug. 22, 2005) by NASA's Opportunity rover, shows the nature of the outcrop rocks that the rover is encountering on its southward journey across the martian plains to "Erebus Crater." The rocks, similar in make-up to those encountered earlier in the mission, display a clear pattern of cracks as well as rind-like features (identifiable as a light shade of blue to olive in the image) coating the outcrop surface. Prominent in the image are two holes (one on the rock, one on the rind) drilled with the rover's rock abrasion tool to facilitate chemical analysis of the underlying material. The reddish color around the holes is from iron-rich dust produced during the grinding operation. The rind, nicknamed "Lemon Rind," and the underlying rock, nicknamed "Strawberry," have turned out to be similar in overall chemistry and texture. Science team members are working to understand the nature of the relationship between these kinds of rocks and rinds on the Meridiani plains. This false-color composite was generated from a combination of 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filter images taken by the Opportunity panoramic camera, an instrument that has acquired more than 36,000 color filter images to date of martian terrain at Meridiani Planum.

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