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The Many Sides of Bounce
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The Many Sides of 'Bounce'

January 7, 2005
This graph shows light signatures, or spectra, taken from five different places on the rock dubbed "Bounce" at Meridiani Planum. The green and yellow spectra are from the bright rock powder and dark rock surface respectively. These spectra show a drop in reflectance near the one-micron wavelength mark, consistent with a less-oxidized, iron-bearing silicate such as olivine or pyroxene. These findings are not inconsistent with this rock being a basaltic rock. The relative brightness of the powder can be explained by particle sizes.

The red spectrum is from the bright dusty soil next to Bounce. The spectrum is dominated by the signature of oxidized "ferric" iron (Fe3+) like that seen in the classic martian dust. The teal spectrum is from the darker Meridiani soils. That spectrum is also dominated by ferric iron, though the reflectivity is lower probably because the grains are coarser in these soils compared to the dust.

The purple spectrum from the larger granules in the Meridiani soil show a fine-grained iron oxide (Fe3+) component. These data were acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's panoramic camera.