While Driving Eastward Toward The Northwestern Flank Of " McCool Hill , &qu ...

While Driving Eastward Toward The Northwestern Flank Of " McCool Hill , &qu ...

  Stockphoto ID: 734320

File name: Sol788A_P2396L257atc-A788R1-LOW.jpg
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Source: photo agency Based in: United States

Description: While driving eastward toward the northwestern flank of " McCool Hill , " the wheels of NASAs Mars Exploration Rover Spirit churned up the largest amount of bright soil discovered so far in the mission This image from Spirits panoramic camera ( Pancam ) , taken on the rovers 788th Martian day , or sol , of exploration ( March 22 , 2006 ) , shows the strikingly bright colors and large extent of the materials uncovered Several days earlier , Spirits wheels unearthed a small patch of light toned material informally named " Tyrone " In images from Spirits panoramic camera , " Tyrone " strongly resembled both " Arad " and " Paso Robles , " two patches of light toned soils discovered earlier in the mission Spirit found " Paso Robles " in 2005 while climbing " Cumberland Ridge " on the western slope of " Husband Hill " In early January 2006 , the rover discovered " Arad " on the basin floor just south of " Husband Hill " Spirits instruments confirmed that those soils had a salty chemistry dominated by iron bearing sulfates Spirits Pancam and miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined this most recent discovery , and researchers will compare its properties with the properties of those other deposits These discoveries indicate that salty , light toned soil deposits might be widely distributed on the flanks and valley floors of the " Columbia Hills " region in Gusev Crater on Mars The salts , which are easily mobilized and concentrated in liquid solution , may record the past presence of water So far , these enigmatic materials have generated more questions than answers , however , and as Spirit continues to drive across this region in search of a safe winter haven , the team continues to formulate and test hypotheses to explain the rovers most fascinating recent discovery This view is an approximately true color rendering that combines separate images taken through the Pancams 753 nanometer , 535 nanometer , and 432 nanometer filters

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