This view of a Martian rock target called /Harrison' merges images from two cameras onboard NASA's Curiosity Mars rover to provide both color and microscopic detail. The elongated crystals are likely feldspars, and the matrix is pyroxene-dominated.
Add image to your album
Email this page Post this page to your Facebook wall Tweet this page

Martian Rock 'Harrison' in Color, Showing Crystals

Click here for larger version of PIA17768
Figure A
Click on the image for larger version

This view of a Martian rock target called "Harrison" merges images from two cameras on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover to provide both color and microscopic detail. Curiosity inspected the rock's appearance and composition on the mission's 514th sol, or Martian day (Jan. 15, 2014). The Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) of the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument obtained the detail shown in the center of this view. The right-eye, telephoto-lens camera of the rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument obtained the color information and wider context. ChemCam's laser and spectrometers provided composition information.

Harrison bears elongated, light-colored crystals in a darker matrix. Some of the crystals are about 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) in size. Figure A is a version of the image with a superimposed scale bar of 5 centimeters (about 2 inches).

Based on composition information gathered from an array of ChemCam laser shots on Harrison, the elongated crystals are likely feldspars, and the matrix is pyroxene-dominated. This mineral association is typical of basaltic igneous rocks. The texture provides compelling evidence for igneous rocks at Gale Crater, where Curiosity is on a traverse to reach the lower slopes of Mount Sharp near the center of the crater.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission's Curiosity rover for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Mastcam.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

Image details

ID#:
PIA17768

Date added:
2014-01-29

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Spacecraft:
Curiosity

Instruments:
Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam), Mastcam

Rating:



Views:
2,554

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA17768.tif (32.13 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA17768.jpg (1.48 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS/MSSS