Opportunity Mission 2009 and onward

Page 4 - Seeking answers about space? Join the Space community: the premier source of space exploration, innovation, and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
Status
Not open for further replies.
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Oppy is investigating another rock that may be a meteorite, called Marguette Island.

Here's an attempt to post an image:



If that doesn't work you can see it here, which also includes a link to a lrge image:

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/ ... 1125a.html

Updates discussing the rock:

sols 2069-2075, November 18-24, 2009: 'Marquette' Study Continues

Opportunity has been investigating the rock known as "Marquette Island" over the last couple of weeks. This target is proving to be something unique that Opportunity has not encountered in more than 2000 Sols of exploring Mars.

The science team is theorizing this rock could be either be a type of meteorite that Opportunity has never seen before or it could be ejecta from deep within the Martian crust that might provide clues to Mars' geologic past. The rover completed Mössbauer (MB) spectrometer and Alpha-Particle-X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurements on a rock target named "Peck Bay" last week. Peck Bay was also lightly brushed by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), which removed a layer of dust on the rock to expose the material beneath.

To gain additional information on Marquette Island, Opportunity has repeated the same set of measurements on an adjacent target called "Islington Bay." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) elevation mirror shroud is being opened when appropriate with the expectation of eventual dust cleaning. No dust cleaning of the Mini-TES mirror has been noted yet.

As of Sol 2075 (Nov. 24, 2009), the solar array energy production was 371 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.512 and a dust factor of 0.520. Total odometry was 18,906.82 meters (11.75 miles).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sols 2063-2068, November 12-17, 2009: 'Marquette' Study Begins

Opportunity has been investigating a rock called "Marquette Island."

The rover approached the rock on Sol 2063 (Nov. 12, 2009) and has been using the Moessbauer (MB) spectrometer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) to collect measurements on the rock to assist in determining the rock composition. Opportunity also has taken close-up images using the microscopic imager (MI) on Sol 2065 (Nov. 14, 2009).

The rock abrasion tool (RAT) on the arm will lightly brush the rock to reveal the surface beneath the layer of dust. After receiving the results of the RAT brush, the science team will decide whether to look even deeper into the rock by grinding a couple of millimeters (about a tenth of an inch) down into it and performing additional science observations.

There has also been extensive imaging of the surrounding rocks around Marquette. The elevation mirror shroud of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) is being opened when appropriate with the expectation of eventual dust cleaning. No dust cleaning of the Mini-TES mirror has been noted yet.

As of Sol 2068 (Nov. 17, 2009), Opportunity's solar-array energy production was 385 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.482 and a dust factor of 0.530. Total odometry was 18,906.82 meters (11.75 miles).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sols 2057-2062, November 6-11, 2009: Approaching "Marquette Island"

Opportunity is still heading south before the turn east to head toward Endeavour Crater. The right front wheel is exhibiting elevated motor currents. So, the plan is to find a place to stop and rest the actuator while conducting some some contact science.

On Sol 2058 (Nov. 7, 2009), the rover began a 15-meter (49-foot) approach to a candidate rock target called "Marquette Island." On Sol 2061 (Nov. 10, 2009), Opportunity bumped about 4 meters (13 feet) to position Marquette Island within the work volume of the rover's robotic arm (instrument deployment device, or IDD). The rover continues to command the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) elevation mirror open each sol in an attempt to clear some of the putative dust off the elevation mirror. To date, no improvement in the Mini-TES has been observed.

As of Sol 2062 (Nov. 11, 2009), Opportunity's solar-array energy production was 400 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.486 and a dust factor of 0.531. Total odometry was 18,905.90 meters (11.75 miles).
 
C

centsworth_II

Guest
Looks like Marquette is not a meteorite, but a very interesting Mars rock unlike any that Opportunity has seen in five years of roving.
Planetary News: Mars Exploration Rovers Update:
“One week ago I couldn't tell you if it's Martian or a meteorite,” said Squyres. “We know now it is a Martian rock. It's got a very low concentration of nickel, so it's not a meteorite. It's Martian. We're still working on it, so this is highly preliminary: it appears to be a coarse-grained igneous rock quite rich in olivine. We believe it also contains plagioclase and pyroxene. The closest match that we have ever seen with this would be some of the rocks we saw over at the Spirit site.”

Marquette’s composition means “it’s got to be a piece of ejecta from some far away crater,” Squyres continued.

Of course, they don't know where it came from or how far it traveled to get to where it is, but it’s not from Endeavour. “The reason I say that is because Endeavour is older than the sediments on which we are driving,” explained Squyres. “It' can't be Endeavor. It has to be something more recent than that. What we're probably seeing is some deep-seated sample of Martian crustal material. And it's different than anything we've seen before. It doesn't appear to be related geochemically to the Meridiani sediments at all,” he added.
 
M

mrsilvera70

Guest
The walls of Endurance and Victoria craters show that the top ten meters of the Meridiani layers are wind-deposited. The layers seen in Eagle crater indicative of water deposition have proven to be the exception rather than the rule.

/*Spam Link Removed*/
 
3

3488

Guest
I find this a fascinating update for someone interested in Planetary Geology.

MER B Opportunity examines rock possibly from the lower crust of Mars. Wonder where it came from? Are there craters or basins on Mars deep enough to have had this excavated by impact???

Sol 2,103 Marquette Island Rock.



Andrew Brown.
 
3

3488

Guest
Sol 2,116, ratted area on Marquette Island Rock using the MI. The area shown is 3 CM wide.

The larger crytalline structure within this basalt is clearly apparent leading to speculation that Marquette Island is indeed from deep within the crust of Mars, possibly the lower crust, not far maybe from the mantle boundary. This rock took some considerable time to cool hense the larger crystals.

Oppy's twin Spirit has also examined basalts within Gusev Crater & they all displayed far smaller crystalline structures, i.e they cooled very quickly, most likely on the surface.

Marquette Island is the first such basalt found on Mars conclusively.



Andrew Brown.
 
L

langevrouw

Guest
how is it possible that opportunity.. the BEST thing humans ever made is almost forgotten

the last post here was 4 days ago..

An outrage... This little divice is doing such great work
and it is going sooo strong

19 km it has been moving.. that is through !!!! the whole city of Amsterdam.. or Brussels.. It is half way Londen
and New York..

This machine is doing a great thing.. and we should write more about it.. it is a KILLER
and it discovered soo much

and within 4 years it will be at the Enormous crater and make us all scream and shout.. it all out
As it is unique and will be fantastic
 
L

langevrouw

Guest
3488":kh6yx2k1 said:
Too true Wayne,

I am very glad that mssion planners have used the 'opportunity' with Opportunity (pretty rubbish was'nt it) to examine Block Island. This really is a chance far too good to miss.

I still think Oppy will get to Endeavour Crater, though of course chance would not favour it due to Oppy's eceptionally long life on Mars, but when you're 25 times over your 'life expectancy' than yes, you grap every opportunity of added interest you can, of which thias most certainly is (did it again).

Andrew Brown.
of course it will make it !!! There are no signs it will not
 
L

langevrouw

Guest
Re: Why?

SierraFrost":312cc89a said:
Ok, I just looked at this rock called 'Block Rock' that is sitting on Mars. They say it is a meteorite, which I'm sure it is... BUT... why did it not leave an impression? Yes, I know Mars' gravity is approx. 38% of Earth's (is that why?), or do I not understand the effects of gravity on falling objects like I thought I did. Did it float down? Or is the impression just too slight to not see? The picture does show a dark shadow around the rock, but it still looks like it is lying on perfectly flat surface.

Am I a nitpicker? For example, the statement that everything in the universe is expanding and moving away from each other... THEN WHY is the Andromeda Galaxy rushing towards us on a collision course (in about 3 billion years).. oh, maybe a collision, but still it seems to be heading in our direction. Maybe a hole in the balloon theory? I have questions, who has answers??? LOL :lol: (my god I am a nitpicker)(sigh) :oops:

TTFN! :)
I think it was part of something large.. that made an impression.. and parts of it flew alllllll around
they were not traveling fast enough to create craters on their own.. the craters Oppert has seen so far are made by things like this. before they broke apart
 
3

3488

Guest
MER B Opportunity of Sol 2,158 has found this interesting layered rock.


Also approaching this small impact crater in Meridiani Planum on Sol 2,158.
Wonder if she'll drive right past, or will stay a while?


Andrew Brown.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Wow, more incredible images on the way to Endeavour. It just shows how foolish the suggestion of a Spirit rescue mission was. Oppy has it's own science to do!!
 
3

3488

Guest
I totally agree Wayne.

Opportunity has her own fascinating mission. The Spirit rescue idea was just silly, IMO did not appear to have been thought through properly. Oppy & Spirit are almost antipodal on Mars in respect to each other.

Andrew Brown.
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
3488":1xfzypmu said:
MER B Opportunity of Sol 2,158 has found this interesting layered rock.
Is it lava or another indicator of past water ? Something else ?

There are layered rocks in the second picture too, are those layers related ?
 
3

3488

Guest
Hi EarthlingX,

Excellent questions. I just love this sort of thing. :mrgreen:

Without further information to hand, my guess is that they are sedimentary, could be layered in water & / or are from wind bourne sediments, related to earlier sediments Opportunity discovered right back in Eagle Crater on Sol 1. There is likely to be volcanic ash in the sediments, but that is just speculation till we get more data.

However she has driven more than far enough to have crossed into different units of sediments entirely, but without further info, it is just a guess.

Below a couple more Sol 2,158 images. More layered rocks.



Looking back. What is encouraging is that the arrays & the Mars Dial are still looking quite clean, not too dusty.


Andrew Brown.
 
M

Mee_n_Mac

Guest
Would I be incorrect to reach the conclusion that the jumble of layered rocks is a result of the impact ? The layers are oriented all helter skelter. Is the rounding off of the edges due solely to the Martian wind and if so does that allow the experts to date the time of the impact ?
 
3

3488

Guest
Hi Mee_n_Mac,

No you would not be incorrect. That is exactly what has happened. The meteor impacted the sedimentary rock strata here & the ejecta is that sedimentary rock.

That is exactly what the MER scientists are hoping to do here. Oppy has stopped for a few sols here at the 10 metre wide Concepción Crater, currently composing a 360 degree colour panorama of the surroundings & the Mossbauer, APSX, etc will examine a few of the rocks.

The PanCam will image a few in great detail to ascertain layering & the erosion of said rocks in an attempt to age the crater. Concepción Crater is thought to be a 'young' crater, based on the 'freshness' of the ejecta, but of course, the rate of erosion is not well known here, hense the short stay here, before heading south once more towards Endurance Crater.

Below Sol 2,142 image of a few of the small scattered sedimentary rocks in the ejecta of Concepción Crater.


Andrew Brown.
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
Those dots (pebbles ?), which are easiest to see on the upper right rock, that would be some harder material than the rest of the sediment, right ?
What could that be ? Could it attach later ? It doesn't look like picture artifact and is rather uniform in distribution ..
Maybe just a little bigger sand grains ?
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
centsworth_II":2dvbg9k8 said:
EarthlingX":2dvbg9k8 said:
Those dots (pebbles ?), which are easiest to see on the upper right rock...
Those are the "blueberries" that Opportunity has been seeing throughout the mission. They formed in the layered rock as mineral deposits called concretions.
Thank you :)

I remember now, but have forgot, it's a long mission, very :oops:

Hematite
Hematite on Mars
Image mosaic from the Mars Exploration Rover Microscopic Imager shows Hematite spherules partly embedded in rock at the Opportunity landing site. (Scale: image is approximately 5 cm (2 in) across)


The spectral signature of hematite was seen on the planet Mars by the infrared spectrometer on the NASA Mars Global Surveyor ("MGS") and 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft in orbit around Mars. The mineral was seen in abundance at two sites on the planet, the Terra Meridiani site, near the Martian equator at 0° longitude, and the second site Aram Chaos near the Valles Marineris. Several other sites also showed hematite, e.g., Aureum Chaos. Because terrestrial hematite is typically a mineral formed in aqueous environments, or by aqueous alteration, this detection was scientifically interesting enough that the second of the two Mars Exploration Rovers was targeted to a site in the Terra Meridiani region designated Meridiani Planum. In-situ investigations by the Opportunity rover showed a significant amount of hematite, much of it in the form of small spherules that were informally named "blueberries"by the science team. Analysis indicates that these spherules are apparently concretions formed from a water solution.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
sols 2145-2151, February 4-10, 2010: Opportunity Studies 'Chocolate Hills' Rock

Opportunity is exploring around the rim of the very young crater "Concepcion."

On Sol 2145 (Feb. 4, 2010), the rover made a 10-meter (33-foot) approach to a rock target called "Chocolate Hills." This rock target is of interest because it exhibits a dark rind or crust that may be impact melt. On Sol 2147 (Feb. 6, 2010), Opportunity completed a 2-meter (7-foot) short approach to bring the target within the work volume of the robotic arm (IDD). On Sol 2149 (Feb. 8, 2010), the rover performed a small turn-in-place to position the target within reach of the IDD with its 4-degree-of-freedom azimuth limitations. On the next sol, the IDD collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the dark rind and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an integration. On the following sol, another set of Microscopic Imager mosaics were collected and then the Mössbauer (MB) spectrometer focused on the target called "Aloya."

The right-front wheel currents continue to be well-behaved. No improvement has been observed yet in the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) elevation mirror, which continues to be opened regularly to allow cleaning by the wind.

As of Sol 2151 (Feb. 10, 2010), the solar array energy production was 306 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.388 and a dust factor of 0.487. Total odometry is 19,335.35 meters (12 miles).
 
3

3488

Guest
Sol 2,164 Images of highly angular, blueberry impregnated, layered rocks @ Concepcion Crater.






Andrew Brown.
 
3

3488

Guest
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, now in its seventh year on Mars, has a new capability to make its own choices about whether to make additional observations of rocks that it spots on arrival at a new location.

Software uploaded this winter is the latest example of NASA taking advantage of the twin Mars rovers' unanticipated longevity for re...............

MER B Opportunity becomes smarter with age.

Andrew Brown.
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
3488":1pgfdimi said:
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, now in its seventh year on Mars, has a new capability to make its own choices about whether to make additional observations of rocks that it spots on arrival at a new location.

Software uploaded this winter is the latest example of NASA taking advantage of the twin Mars rovers' unanticipated longevity for re...............

MER B Opportunity becomes smarter with age.

Andrew Brown.
It is quite impressive. I hope that new missions will be able to use this solution and software, or at least some parts of it. She's like a good vine, getting better with the age ;)
 
F

freya

Guest
When ever I see 'Blueberries' I immeadiately think - 'warm shallow sea'. When Mars was once the beholder of planet wide oceans, subjected to milder tidal velocities than the pre historic Earth, I see these Blueberries accumulating as a natural product of the O2 depletion of the Mars atmosphere :arrow: hematite precipitation in shallow waters. Surely a super computer running the right programme can throw out the result in a matter of hours, we may be talking about a billion years or so, of when a juvenile Mars, was much warmer and weter than today. I work in a mineral lab, wish I had 1 gram of Mars material to run through our instruments!!! Just 1 gram would answer a lot of questions, and of course create dozens more.
Gary
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY