Concretions at 'Cumberland'
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This image taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the texture of the patch of flat-lying bedrock called "Cumberland," which was the mission's second target for use of the rover's sample-collecting drill. Cumberland was selected to be similar to the first, "John Klein," but with a slightly greater concentration of erosion-resistant granules that cause surface bumps. The bumps are concretions, or clumps of minerals that formed when water soaked the rock long ago. Analysis of a sample containing more material from these concretions could provide information about the variability within the rock layers of both drill targets, John Klein and Cumberland.
This image was taken on the 279th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (May 19, 2013) from a distance of 2 inches (5 centimeters).
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, developed, built and operates MAHLI. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the mission's Curiosity rover for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.