PIA16706: Spherules in 'Yellowknife Bay'
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  Mastcam
 Product Size:  1501 x 844 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA16706.tif (3.802 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA16706.jpg (203.7 kB)

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This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows roughly spherical features. These are called spherules, and they are common in this stratigraphic unit, the Sheepbed Unit, which defines the lower part of the sequences of strata exposed in "Yellowknife Bay." These features are interpreted as concretions, implying they formed in water that percolated through pores in the sediment. Spherical concretions have previously been discovered in other rocks on Mars.

Mastcam obtained these images on the 139th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's surface operations (Dec. 25, 2012). The image has been white-balanced to show what the rock would look like if it were on Earth.

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