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Volcanic Bumpy Boulder on Mars May 15, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Cornell, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Planets, Space Fotos.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What created this unusually textured rock on Mars? Most probably: a volcano. Dubbed Bumpy Boulder, the strange stone measuring just under a half-meter high was found by the robotic Spirit rover currently rolling across Mars. Pits on the raged rock are likely vesicles and arise from hot gas bubbling out of hot rock ejected by an active Martian volcano. Several similar rocks are visible near Bumpy Boulder that likely have a similar past. The above true-color image was taken about one month ago. The Spirit rover, now in its third year of operation on Mars, is weathering the low sunlight winter of Mar's northern hemisphere on a hillside slope in order to maximize the amount of absorbable battery-refreshing sunlight.

Comments

1. Ed Minchau - May 15, 2006

1) if this is volcanic rock, then where is the volcano?

2) how did this volcanic rock end up on top of the sedimentary layer?

3) why isn’t the entire area covered in volcanic rock?

2. jtintle - May 15, 2006

Well the volcanoe could of spewed the rock from a distance and this is where it landed, that could answer both 1&2, and there are other rocks in the are with similar features.

Several similar rocks are visible near Bumpy Boulder that likely have a similar past.

from the caption


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