PIA19828: High-Silica 'Lamoose' Rock
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  MAHLI
 Product Size:  1600 x 1191 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA19828.tif (5.719 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA19828.jpg (461 kB)

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A rock fragment dubbed "Lamoose" is shown in this picture taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Curiosity rover. Like other nearby rocks in a portion of the "Marias Pass" area of Mt. Sharp, Mars, it has unusually high concentrations of silica. The high silica was first detected in the area by the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) laser spectrometer. This rock was targeted for follow-up study by the MAHLI and the arm-mounted Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

Silica is a rock-forming compound containing silicon and oxygen, commonly found on Earth as quartz. High levels of silica could indicate ideal conditions for preserving ancient organic material, if present, so the science team wants to take a closer look.

The rock is about 4 inches (10 centimeters) across. It is fine-grained, perhaps finely layered, and etched by the wind. The image was taken on the 1,041st Martian day, or sol, of the mission (July 11, 2015).

MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

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