CalTech NASA JPL JPL CalTech
NASA Logo - Jet Propulsion Laboratory Follow this link to skip to the main content
   + View the NASA Portal

JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars & Galaxies Technology
Mars Exploration Rovers
Images Multimedia News Missions Events Kids Education Science & Research About JPL
At a Glance
Daily Updates
Flight Director Reports
News Releases
Features
Image Releases
Multimedia
Fact Sheet
Press Kit
Media Contacts
Link to MER Home Page

 Popular Images:
 + Raw Images
 + Artist's Concept
 + Mars Wallpapers

 Image Archives:
 + May 2011
 + April 2011
 + March 2011
 + February 2011
 + January 2011
 + December 2010
 + November 2010
 + October 2010
 + September 2010
 + August 2010
 + July 2010
 + June 2010
 + May 2010
 + April 2010
 + March 2010
 + February 2010
 + January 2010
 + December 2009
 + November 2009
 + October 2009
 + September 2009
 + August 2009
 + July 2009
 + June 2009
 + May 2009
 + April 2009
 + March 2009
 + February 2009
 + January 2009
 + December 2008
 + November 2008
 + October 2008
 + September 2008
 + August 2008
 + July 2008
 + June 2008
 + May 2008
 + April 2008
 + March 2008
 + February 2008
 + January 2008
 + December 2007
 + November 2007
 + October 2007
 + September 2007
 + August 2007
 + July 2007
 + June 2007
 + May 2007
 + April 2007
 + March 2007
 + February 2007
 + January 2007
 + December 2006
 + November 2006
 + October 2006
 + September 2006
 + August 2006
 + July 2006
 + June 2006
 + May 2006
 + April 2006
 + March 2006
 + February 2006
 + January 2006
 + December 2005
 + November 2005
 + October 2005
 + September 2005
 + August 2005
 + July 2005
 + June 2005
 + May 2005
 + April 2005
 + March 2005
 + February 2005
 + January 2005
 + December 2004
 + November 2004
 + October 2004
 + September 2004
 + August 2004
 + July 2004
 + June 2004
 + May 2004
 + April 2004
 + March 2004
 + February 2004
 + January 2004
 + 2003
 + 2002

 Site Tools:
 + Adobe Reader
 + Apple QuickTime
 + Macromedia Flash
 + RealPlayer
The layered nature of these rocks presents new questions for the rover team.

Spirit Says Goodbye to 'Home Plate' (False Color)
3/21/06

For the past several weeks, Spirit has been examining spectacular layered rocks exposed at "Home Plate." The rover has been driving around the northern and eastern edges of Home Plate, on the way to "McCool Hill." Before departing, Spirit took this image showing some of the most complex layering patterns seen so far at this location.

The layered nature of these rocks presents new questions for the rover team. In addition to their chemical properties, which scientists can study using Spirit's spectrometers, these rocks record a detailed history of the physical properties that formed them. In the center of this image, one group of layers slopes downward to the right. The layers above and below this group are more nearly horizontal. Where layers of different orientations intersect, other layers are truncated. This indicates that there were complex patterns of alternating erosion and deposition occurring when these layers were being deposited. Similar patterns can be found in some sedimentary rocks on Earth. Physical relationships among the various layers exposed at Home Plate are crucial evidence in understanding how these Martian rocks formed. Scientists suspect that the rocks at Home Plate were formed in the aftermath of a volcanic explosion or impact event, and they are investigating the possibility that wind may also have played a role in redistributing materials after such an event.

Images like this one from panoramic camera (Pancam), which shows larger-scale layering, as well as those from the microscopic imager, which reveal the individual sand-sized grains that make up these rocks, are essential to understanding the geologic history of Home Plate.

This view is a false-color rendering that combines separate images taken through the Pancam's 753-nanometer, 535-namometer, and 432-nanometer filters, enhanced to emphasize color differences among the rocks and soils. It was taken during Spirit's 774th Martian day (March 8, 2006).



Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

+ Medium resolution version of this image
+ High resolution version of this image
+ Print this image and caption
Privacy / Copyrights FAQ Contact JPL Sitemap
FIRST GOV + Freedom of Information Act NASA Home Page
Site Manager:
Webmasters:
  Susan Watanabe
Tony Greicius, Martin Perez