PIA20539: Old Salt
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Spacecraft:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Instrument:  HiRISE
 Product Size:  2880 x 1800 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  University of Arizona/HiRISE-LPL
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 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA20539.tif (15.56 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA20539.jpg (803.7 kB)

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What is that "purplish" colored stuff (in HiRISE IRB color) with the polygonal fractures in this observation? Scientists think it contains chlorides, like sodium chloride or table salt, or maybe chloride of calcium or magnesium.

These salts can be deposited during the evaporation or water in lakes or playas. These deposits are billions of years old, so it is truly old salt, not a fish tale.

This is a stereo pair with PSP_008780_1735.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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