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Spirit View of Wishstone False Color
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Spirit View of 'Wishstone' (False Color)

January 4, 2005
Scientists working with NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit decided to examine this rock, dubbed "Wishstone," based on data from the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. That instrument's data indicated that the mineralogy of the rocks in this area is different from that of rocks encountered either on the plains of Gusev Crater or in bedrock outcrops examined so far in the "Columbia Hills" inside the crater. Spirit used its rock abrasion tool first to scour a patch of the rock's surface with a wire brush, then to grind away the surface to reveal interior material. Placement of the rover's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on the exposed circle of interior material revealed that the rock is rich in phosphorus. Spirit used its panoramic camera during the rover's 342nd martian day, or sol, (Dec. 18, 2004) to take the three individual images that were combined to produce this false-color view emphasizing the freshly ground dust around the hole cut by the rock abrasion tool.