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East Candor Rocks
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East Candor Rocks

September 24, 2004
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a thick, massive outcrop of light-toned rock exposed within eastern Candor Chasma, part of the vast Valles Marineris trough system. Dark, windblown sand has banked against the lower outcrop slopes. Outcrops such as this in the Valles Marineris chasms have been known since Mariner 9 images were obtained in 1972. However, the debate as to whether these represent sedimentary or igneous rocks has not been settled within the Mars science community. In either case, they have the physical properties of sedimentary rock (that is, they are formed of fine-grained materials), but some igneous rocks made up of volcanic ash may also exhibit these properties. This image is located near 7.8°S, 65.3°W, and covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.


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