Curiosity Mars Rover: “Enlightening” Looks at Cliff

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digicam Proper B picture taken on Sol 3063, March 19, 2021.
Credit score: /JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 3063 duties.

Studies Melissa Rice, a planetary geologist at Western Washington College in Bellingham, Washington, it’s all about getting the appropriate lighting for accentuating the small- textures of “Mont Mercou.”

The Curiosity is planning to {photograph} the cliff face proper than sundown on sol 3063, Rice notes, when the Solar is at its lowest level within the sky. “We hope this new Mastcam mosaic will deliver out much more element.”

Inspection of cliff construction. Mast Digicam picture taken on Sol 3061, March 17, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

Rice explains that geology photographers need to see all the bumps, strains, divots and wrinkles, as these options inform the story of how a rock was fashioned and altered.

The night photoshoot utilizing the robotic’s Mastcan is one a part of a two-sol (Sols 3062-3063).

Curiosity Chemistry & Digicam Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) picture acquired on Sol 3062, March 18, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Mini-Mercou

The primary occasion is the second evaluation of the ‘Nontron’ drill pattern by Curiosity’s Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin), “to refine what we’re studying concerning the mineralogy of the rocks on the base of Mont Mercou,” Rice provides. “We’ll look some extra at Mont Mercou and different areas earlier within the day with Mastcam, and can look ahead to clouds within the sky at twilight.”

Planning additionally known as for utilizing the robotic’s Chemistry and Digicam’s (ChemCam) Distant Micro-Imager (RMI), Rice factors out, to picture a butte known as “mini-Mercou” to the east, which is a re- of some earlier photos that had been barely out of focus.

Curiosity Mast Digicam Proper photos taken on Sol 3062 March 18, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Nontron drill gap taken by Curiosity Mast Digicam Proper on Sol 3056, March 12, 2021. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Nontron drill pattern

What occurs subsequent weekend and past is dependent upon what the Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite knowledge reveal concerning the Nontron drill pattern, “and whether or not the group decides to carry out extra analyses with SAM earlier than on the point of drive onwards and upwards into the sulfate-bearing models of Mt. Sharp,” Rice reviews.

In an earlier report, Susanne Schwenzer, a planetary geologist at The Open College, questioned whether or not there may be nontronite within the Nontron drill gap?

Nontronite is the iron (III) wealthy of the smectite group of clay minerals.

“If there may be, there shall be water launched from the pattern in attribute patterns – and with that I imply at particular temperatures whereas the pattern is being heated steadily from its ambient temperature to about 900°C,” Schwenzer said.

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