'Diamond' in 3-D
This 3-D, microscopic imager mosaic of a target area on a rock called "Diamond Jenness" was taken after NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity ground into the surface with its rock abrasion tool for a second time.
Opportunity has bored nearly a dozen holes into the inner walls of "Endurance Crater." On sols 177 and 178 (July 23 and July 24, 2004), the rover worked double-duty on Diamond Jenness. Surface debris and the bumpy shape of the rock resulted in a shallow and irregular hole, only about 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) deep. The final depth was not enough to remove all the bumps and leave a neat hole with a smooth floor. This extremely shallow depression was then examined by the rover's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.
On Sol 178, Opportunity's "robotic rodent" dined on Diamond Jenness once again, grinding almost an additional 5 millimeters (about 0.2 inch). The rover then applied its Moessbauer spectrometer to the deepened hole. This double dose of Diamond Jenness enabled the science team to examine the rock at varying layers. Results from those grindings are currently being analyzed.
The image mosaic is about 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) across.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL
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