PIA21147: Detecting a Difference in Clay Minerals at Two Gale Crater Sites
 Target Name:  Mars
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Instrument:  CheMin
 Product Size:  660 x 424 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA21147.tif (216.5 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA21147.jpg (30.38 kB)

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Data graphed here from the Chemistry and Camera (CheMin) instrument on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover show a difference between clay minerals in powder drilled from mudstone outcrops at two locations in Mars' Gale Crater: "Yellowknife Bay" and "Murray Buttes."

CheMin's X-ray diffraction analysis reveals information about the crystalline structure of minerals in the rock. The intensity peaks marked with dotted vertical lines in this chart indicate that the crystalline structure of the two sites' clay minerals differs. The difference can be tied to a compositional difference in the clay minerals, as depicted in a diagram at PIA21148.

The Yellowknife Bay site is on the floor of Gale Crater. The Murray Buttes site is on lower Mount Sharp, the layered mound in the center of the crater. A map at PIA21144 shows these locations.

Presented at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting on Dec. 13. in San Francisco, CA.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

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