Opportunity Sees 'Berries' and Rock
March 21, 2004
This false-color composite image, taken at a region of the rock outcrop dubbed Shoemaker's Patio near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site, shows finely layered sediments, which have been accentuated by erosion. The sphere-like grains or blueberries distributed throughout the outcrop can be seen lining up with individual layers. This observation indicates that the spherules are geologic features called concretions, which form in pre-existing wet sediments. Other sphere-like grains, such as impact spherules or volcanic lapilli (fragments of material between 2 and 64 millimeters or .08 and 2.5 inches in maximum dimension that are ejected from a volcano) are thought to be deposited with sediments and thus would form layers distinct from those of the rocks. This image was captured by the rover's panoramic camera on the 50th martian day, or sol, of the mission.
Topics: Environment, Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle, Mars Exploration Rover, Petrology, Martian spherules, Lapilli, Scientific information from the Mars Exploration Rover mission, Opportunity rover, Concretion, Geology