Sights and Attractions for the Mars Tourist

This page is a meant to be a record for images of some of the touristy things that the Mars Rovers send back in their wanderings. It is a great mission. Their travels are full of wonders and each day brings something new to marvel at. Here in are some of the small details the casual follower of the mission may have missed.

An ancient rain water wash channel? Opp Sol 118:
Is that an ancient rain water wash channel between the rocks? Could the wind do that over time? Note that in this image our spherules are presented nicely growing in lines, each spherule separated by an inch or so of free space just like with the Horodyskia.

Exfoliation or Onion-Skin Weathering: This great rock structure was found in Spirit Sol 105, at  
/2/p/105/2P135681218EFF3000P2387L4M1.   If you look carefully on the NASA image, there seems to be two more of these structures, one on the left hand edge about a third of the way down, a second just a little above and to the right of the second one. There is a second one in this picture. /2/p/091/2P134449783EFF2700P2450L4M1 at Spirit Sol 091 Pamcam.  

This type of erosion occurs in the desert where temperature changes are large and rapid between day and night. The exposed outer skin of the rock cools or heats up faster than the inside; thus contracting or expanding faster than inside. The outer skin of splits off due to to this differential expansion. Water will contribute to this exfoliation and the phenomenon is also found in cold wastes.

This image can be compared with the following terrestrial image. Onion skin weathering of Igneous rocks, Ethiopia See also the bottom of Weathering.pdf.


Erosion feature: at Opportunity sol 71.   Noel C. Welstead in Australia sent me this.

"Sushis" Rock with Mysterious Square Hole: Likely just a piece of basalt debris like everything else around the Gusev Crater. Spirit sol 014. It has an unusual and different shape, extruded somehow?, and colour than the rocks around it.
NASA Press Release Colour Photo.
Enlarged well-done colour image. From "Majic" in the Netherlands.
Colour analysis comparing the basalt to a piece of petrified wood. Posted by "Phobos", Watford England from the "Bad Astronomy" Board. Petrified wood usually doesn't have a square hole. Geodes are usually round.

Daemonic-Looking Rock: This is exciting. Meteorite plows into volcano. The explosion blasts this piece of lava rock hundreds of miles over into the Gusev crater. The thing sits there for millennia rotting away in the sun until Spirit wanders by and takes a snapshot. From Noel in Australia.

Opportunity Aeroshell from beside the "Endurance Crater". Note the pure white color and characteristic linear spread of the light reflection off it. Too many electrons are generated in the camera's CCD pixel and they "bloom" over into adjacent pixels. One ccd bin fills up with photons and spills off into the bin beside it. Doug Peterson brought the image to my attention.

Sedimentary Rock from Eagle Crater?: From Opportunity Sol 104. It would look great in my garden.

This spherule image is here mostly because it is a pleasure to behold. Is that a crust up at the upper right or is that just surface hardening of the concretion / spherule? My two yellow lines highmark subtle marks on its surface. Maybe these were discolored during an intermediate stage while the spherule was cracking in halve. It is huge, 7 mm in diameter. Sol 84.   m/084/1M135640983EFF1300P2956M2M1