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Mars Exploration Rover Image Release

image, taken by the microscopic imager onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity
Which Came First? Vug or Spherule?
This image, taken by the microscopic imager onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, shows a close-up of the region dubbed "El Capitan," which lies within the rock outcrop at Meridiani Planum, Mars. In the lower left, a spherule, or sphere-shaped grain, can be seen penetrating the interior of a small cavity called a vug. This "cross-cutting" relationship allows the relative timing of separate events to be established. In this case, the spherule appears to "invade" the vug, and therefore likely post-dates the vug. This suggests that the spherules may have been one of the last features to form within the outcrop.

Release Date: 3/2/04
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/US Geological Survey
Reference URL: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05481

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