Area with Silica-Rich Target Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used its Navigation Camera (Navcam) to capture this view partway back down a slope it climbed toward "Marias Pass" on lower Mount Sharp. The image was taken May 22, 2015, during the 992nd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars.
A rock about a wheel's width to the left of the foreground wheel in this image is a target called "Elk," where Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument detected a composition about 80 percent silica. Silica is a mineral-forming chemical combining silicon and oxygen, commonly found on Earth in the form of quartz, but also existing in many other forms.
Figure 1 includes annotation identifying the Elk target.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Curiosity project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL built the rover and Navcam.