Exploration of Cape York - Vol 4 - Page 6

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Posts: 344

Reply: 101

PostPosted: June 7, 2012 10:54 AM 

The presumed gypsum is covering some of the pebbles, so it must have been emplaced after the pebbles were already present. Is this consistent with the idea of an upwelling through cracks that precipitated the gypsum?


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Reply: 102

PostPosted: June 7, 2012 11:15 AM 

sol 2974 ( Jun 5, 2012 ) 3D MI detail of Monte Cristo:

There appears to be a "crust" on the rock - and perhaps "banding"?

Barsoomer, not all that is yellow is gypsum:

some of the yellow pebbles are blue-green in the infrared - so NOT gypsum - or whatever the Monte Cristo mineral is. BTW the Homestake mineral was the "same" yellow / yellow-orange in the infrared / visible.


Posts: 344

Reply: 103

PostPosted: June 7, 2012 3:29 PM 

It is very nice to see the colored pancam. Is it feasible to colorize the MIs?

From the MIs, it seems that some of the vein mineral (whatever it is) has washed onto the nearby pebbles. Couldn't the different IR coloration be due to the relatively thin covering on the pebbles, and differential penetration of the mineral by different wavelengths?


Posts: 2270

Reply: 104

PostPosted: June 7, 2012 7:29 PM 

DX; The gypsum you andH>> refer to in 93&94 is bedded and deposited in nearly flat beds in an evaporitic environment.

The gypsum here is filling nearly vertical cracks and was deposited by later water flow in the cracks therefore they have very different origins .
Not being a chemist, my guess is that the colors in the bedded gypsum are related to the minerals in the saline? water that deposited it.

My current view is that Mars had a warm-wet period that involved surface water (flowing&ponded) moving groundwater and a water cycle w/ precipitation (liquid&solid).


Posts: 1661

Reply: 105

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 12:30 AM 


Thanks for that explanation. In h's 85 above, there are no berries imbedded in this 'white' stuff...don't you find that strange? And in 99 Oppy didn't even crush the 'white' vein-it simply rolled over it. Looks like leaching of the vein material has encroached onto the surrounding pebbles as Barsoomer points out.

Ben quote "...minerals in the saline? water that deposited it"...ITS a SALT vein? [it does look crystalline, hard and shiny in appearance as in 85].



Posts: 3465

Reply: 106

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 8:20 AM 

colorized MI pan of Monte Cristo:

I used a saturated false color image of the rock 3 meters away and only 4 points of registration to color the pan - so these are only manufacturer's suggested colors. Hopefully ( but doubtfully ) a closer full color view will be done before fleeing the scene.


Posts: 1661

Reply: 107

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 10:06 AM 


Great rendering...look at that sharp jagged edge in the left pic, like something sheared the face off leaving a new exposed surface. And that little berry resting in a hollow of the 'white' stuff edge. Seems its eating away-or it did eat away-at the surface side causing a cavity. Have to say it-is this a tooth? LOLOL



Posts: 2270

Reply: 108

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 1:03 PM 

Great image 106 Hort; The vein only protrudes slightly above the surface but appears to be tilted slightly to the left.

Normally gypsum is quite soluble in water which indicates there is very little water associated with the enclosing detritus/rock.

My guess is that the vein has been exposed by aeolian erosion. (sand abrasion)


Posts: 3465

Reply: 109

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 4:22 PM 

While we await more results from Monte Cristo, I thought I would revisit Homestake using the original data now available from Analyst's Notebook:

sol 2759 ( Nov 8, 2011 ) 8x saturated false color of Homestake detail:

with a 2x location link, also saturated false color.

This image may be the smallest full filter sub-frame image ever returned of a Mars rock.

I suspect - but have not verified - that this was done to get a full exposure range on just the rock.

There are some very interesting color details along the vein. Again, I don't know how "real" the green along the side of the vein is.

Now, about those bands of color...


Posts: 3465

Reply: 110

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 6:05 PM 

sol 2766 ( Nov 5, 2011 ) colorized MI pan of Homestake:

Fair warning: the color on the side hidden from view from the pancam is not "real".


Posts: 344

Reply: 111

PostPosted: June 8, 2012 11:44 PM 

Notice the linear "gully" on the left here. Carved by a tiny rivulet of water or brine? If water flowed over the vein after it was emplaced, it would explain how some of the vein material was washed onto the nearby pebbles.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 112

PostPosted: June 10, 2012 11:55 PM 

sol 2769 3D infrared / visible saturated false color of Homestake vein:

with location link.

I'm still working on imagej procedures to maximize the color information - especially in the infrared region.

I "see" dozens of different minerals in these images. I am especially interested in the colored cross-bands on the Homestake vein.

Anyone else see them?


Posts: 3062

Reply: 113

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 7:25 AM 

Hort; The coloured cross bands are possibly not minerals. They might be signs of microbial colonisation of the gypsum.

A search for endolithic lichens in gypsum might do wonders.



Posts: 3062

Reply: 114

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 7:27 AM 

and hort the micro pits in homestake tell the same story. Lichen action.



Posts: 250

Reply: 115

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 8:35 AM 

LWS, those peculiar very smooth round holes caught my attention from the very first MI's of Homestake too - not seen any "public" takes on them yet.
Also where are the APXS results from the bluish coatings of the winter haven area?


Posts: 3465

Reply: 116

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 10:45 AM 

It is now sol 2980 and nothing has been downlinked from Oppy - not even tau measurements - since sol 2977.

Hope the old gal is OK.


Posts: 344

Reply: 117

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 11:14 AM 

It has been reported on the blue board that ODY is in safe mode. So the relay service from ODY is out for now.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 118

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 11:43 AM 


From Mars Odyssey Spacecraft Goes Into Standby After Malfunction:

The Mars Odyssey orbiter officially put itself into the protective standby mode early Friday (June 8 ) , when the spacecraft detected unusual readings from one of its three reaction wheels, which are used to control the orbiter's orientation in space....

A reaction wheel failure would cripple Odyssey spacecraft - and hence cripple the MER program - and hence cripple Curiosity?

This is a big deal!


Posts: 3465

Reply: 119

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 4:15 PM 

More details about the Odyssey problem from Mars Daily:

Only one reaction wheel is involved - and there is a spare. Should be back to operational in a few days.

( Phew! )


Posts: 692

Reply: 120

PostPosted: June 11, 2012 5:49 PM 

Okay, so there is ONE spare wheel available on Odyssey to run the task...I hope this is not the only option available when Curiosity arrives, and also for Oppy. Do we have any information about this? Is DSN capable to handle direct communication with those spacecrafts? Maybe yes (?), but I think it all depends of available bandwidth with complicated tasks to do, so this worries me.

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