by Guest | Apr 29, 2023 | Crossposts, Daily Paper SummariesTitle: Spectral Diversity of Rocks and Soils in Mastcam Observations Along the Curiosity Rover’s Traverse in Gale Crater, MarsAuthors: Melissa S. Rice, Christina Seeger, Jim Bell, et al.First Author’s Institution: Department of Geology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, USStatus: Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets [Open Access] This bite is cross-posted from our geology sister site, Geobites. The original post from February 9, 2023 can be found here. Emma HarrisI am a PhD researcher at the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London studying the geology of Mars from orbital imagery with a focus on Mars rover landing sites. In my spare time I like netball, horse riding, and listening to too much Taylor Swift. On the 28th January 2023 NASA’s MSL Curiosity rover team confirmed the rock ‘Cacao’ as an iron-nickle (Fe-Ni) meteorite on the surface of Mars. Curiosity captured images of a silvery-grey rock, very distinctive among the beige-red sedimentary landscape it is currently exploring. Cacao is a ‘float’ rock, meaning is it not embedded within the bedrock and is not where it formed. Float rocks are common on Mars, but many can be traced back to the upper ledges of slopes they have fallen from, or as ejecta from a nearby impact. Cacao has joined a special group of float rocks that are distinct in appearance, genetic composition, and origin.The MSL Curiosity team imaged and analysed the meteorite using MastCam cameras and ChemCam lasers in order to study the composition of the space rock. Although these particular results have not yet been published, similar Fe-Ni meteorites have been identified on the surface of Mars by...
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