MSL Update: Curiosity Finds Calcium-Rich Deposits

by Nancy Atkinson on January 18, 2013

Justin Maki, the Engineering Camera Team Lead for the Mars Science Laboratory provides the latest Curiosity Rover Report from JPL and talks about how the rover has found calcium deposits on Mars similar to those seen on Earth when water circulates in cracks and rock fractures.

The set of images below shows the similarity of sulfate-rich veins seen on Curiosity rover to sulfate-rich veins seen on Earth. The view on the left is a mosaic of two shots from the remote micro-imager on Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on Dec. 14, 2012, or the 126th sol, or Martian day, of operations. They show a view of “Sheepbed” rock in the “Yellowknife Bay” area of Mars. The sulfate-rich veins are the light-colored veins about 1 to 5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.2 inches) wide.

Veins in Rocks on Mars and Earth. Ccredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/LGLyon/Planet-Terre

Veins in Rocks on Mars and Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/LGLyon/Planet-Terre.

The image on the right is from the Egyptian desert on Earth. A pocket knife is shown for scale. (image courtesy of Pierre Thomas).


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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