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Studies Rock Outcrop at ‘Home Plate’ March 16, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Cornell, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos, USGS.


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Cornell


NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this false-color image at 11:48 local true solar time on Mars on the rover’s 746th Martian day, or sol (Feb. 26, 2006), after using the rock abraision tool to brush the surfaces of rock targets informally named “Stars” (left) and “Crawfords” (right). Small streaks of dust extend for several centimeters behind the small rock chips and pebbles in the dusty, red soils. Because the rover was looking southwest when this image was taken, the wind streaks indicate that the dominant wind direction was from the southeast.

The targets Stars and Crawfords are on a rock outcrop located on top of “Home Plate.” The outcrop is informally named “James ‘Cool Papa’ Bell,” after a Negro Leagues Hall of Famer who played for both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Kansas City Stars. To some science team members, the two brushed spots resemble the eyes of a face, with rocks below and between the eyes as a nose and layered rocks at the bottom of the image as a mouth.

The image combines frames taken by Spirit’s panoramic camera through the camera’s 753-nanometer, 535-namometer, and 432-nanometer filters. It is enhanced to emphasize color differences among the rocks, soils and brushed areas. The blue circular area on the left, Stars, was brushed on 761 (Feb. 22, 2006). The one on the right, Crawfords, was brushed on sol 763 (Feb. 25, 2006).

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