Crystal Shapes and Two-Toned Veins on Martian Ridge



Washington, DC, United States

This exposure of finely laminated bedrock on Mars includes tiny crystal-shaped bumps, plus mineral veins with both bright and dark material. This rock target, called "Jura," was imaged by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Jan. 4, 2018, during the 1,925th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars.

The view combines three MAHLI frames covering a postcard-size patch of the rock. Fig. 1 includes a scale bar of 2 centimeters (about 0.8 inch) and a blow-up of a "swallowtail" crystal shape. The combination of simpler "lenticular" crystal shapes with swallowtails and more complex "lark's foot" and star shapes is characteristic of crystals of gypsum, a type of calcium sulfate.

To the right of a prominent swallowtail near the top of the image is one bright mineral vein and another with both bright and dark portions.

This rock is near the southern, uphill edge of "Vera Rubin Ridge" on lower Mount Sharp.

An annotated image (Fig. 1) is available at https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22211

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  • Title: Crystal Shapes and Two-Toned Veins on Martian Ridge
  • Creator: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
  • Date Created: 2018-02-08
  • Rights: JPL
  • Album: kboggs