Exploration of Cape York - Vol 5 - Page 9

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Posts: xxx

Reply: 161

PostPosted: December 23, 2012 8:30 PM 

Opportunity sol 3168 ( Dec 22, 2012 ) MI closeup panorama of the rock "Vermillion":

more broken shell newberries.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 162

PostPosted: December 24, 2012 12:45 PM 

Methinks the newberry pads are fungi. Those dark hangy guys are the "bright objects" from Gale Crater that they initially tried to pass off as "plastic."

The one Curiosity found there looked like tannish molt. These are more supple and dark, especially the one off to the left. They look to be in different stages of their respective life cycles.

.... but fungi can't be on Mars because nobody has found them yet; therefore, this is a really neat rock.

Mark Wilson

Posts: xxx

Reply: 163

PostPosted: December 24, 2012 3:19 PM 

A weird and amazing image all in one Shocked Shocked


Posts: 344

Reply: 164

PostPosted: December 27, 2012 3:14 PM 

Reply 161, extreme right edge: looks like a broken shell newberry that is bisected by a crack in the rock.


Posts: 344

Reply: 165

PostPosted: December 29, 2012 12:00 AM 

"Castle" Rock. The interior has been eroded while leaving the outer surface looking like ramparts.

Interesting interplay of grey and dark and the bright veins. Possible hardened remnant of fluid flow at the bottom.


Posts: 344

Reply: 166

PostPosted: December 29, 2012 2:07 AM 

The "motherlode" of the vein material: Something flowed over the rock and left the white residue that seems to be the same stuff that is filling the veins. Good place to do an APXS on the vein material?


Posts: xxx

Reply: 167

PostPosted: January 1, 2013 12:20 PM 

sol 3177 ( Dec 31, 2012 ) MI closeup of new APXS area on Vermillion rock:

Te new area is just above the area of reply 161.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 168

PostPosted: January 3, 2013 3:32 PM 

Here are the Vermillion 3D MI pairs.

And here are the sol 3171 and 3174 3D pancam pairs.


Posts: 344

Reply: 169

PostPosted: January 3, 2013 5:46 PM 

Horton, thanks for that New Year's present!

When we first entered the Matijevic "grotto" we saw a number of wonderful things in Horton's rendition of the early pancam images.


My question is why haven't we explored these further? We seem to have somehow fallen into a pattern of examining less visually compelling targets.

I realize that the team is trying to acquire evidence to discriminate between various geological theories, and this evidence might best be found in what appear to be more "boring" targets. Nevertheless, I think patterns of Newberries connected by rootlike structures should be explored further unless there is some obvious explanation for them.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 170

PostPosted: January 3, 2013 6:58 PM 

I think Newberries are related to Vermillion.


Posts: 250

Reply: 171

PostPosted: January 4, 2013 4:16 AM 

Barsoomer, the answer to your question(s) in re 169 maybe something like this: there needs to be papers written and careers advanced - nobody can do this by suggesting life on Mars in the geologists realm of Mars. The practical life on Mars issue is totally surrendered to private/hobby researchers (more or less) outside the academic world with little to no access to crucial data due to lack of instrumentation and/or the confusing and time consuming data embargo(s) practiced by NASA.

Nevertheless we can still enjoy endless speculations about Barsoomian life along tons of geologic papers and wait for new astrobiology focused missions to Mars. Very Happy


Posts: xxx

Reply: 172

PostPosted: January 5, 2013 1:55 PM 

Here is quite the interesting little object from Sol 3156:


Posts: xxx

Reply: 173

PostPosted: January 5, 2013 2:18 PM 

sol 3182 ( Jan 5, 2013 ) panorama of the Kirkwood area:

Yay! Oppy has returned to the Kirkwood area!

Dare we hope for a full 3D MI pan of the newberries formation?


Posts: 344

Reply: 174

PostPosted: January 9, 2013 4:10 PM 

The Exploratorium Mars page seems down or unreachable.

It turns out that the physical San Francisco Exploratorium is currently being moved from the Palace of Fine Arts to the Embarcadero Pier area (near Fisherman's Wharf) and will open in April. I wonder if that is affecting their hosting of the Mars raw image data? Bummer if it will be down until April.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 175

PostPosted: January 9, 2013 6:21 PM 

er, I just clicked on the exploratorium opportunity link and it's active.


Posts: 344

Reply: 176

PostPosted: January 9, 2013 7:55 PM 

> er, I just clicked on the exploratorium opportunity link and it's active.

Not from here.

% ping qt.exploratorium.edu
no answer from qt.exploratorium.edu

Clicking on your link times out eventually.

I have no trouble reaching other sites.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 177

PostPosted: January 10, 2013 8:25 AM 

Opportunity sol 3185 ( Jan 8, 2013 ) false color closeup panorama of Ortiz area on Whitewater Lake rock in Ben's formation:

with location link.

Bummer. Looks like the plan is to redo the Whitewater Lake rock rather than the mysterious Kirkwood rock.

Since the "long range plan" is to flee Cape York "soon" there will be no closer look at newberries.


Posts: 344

Reply: 178

PostPosted: January 10, 2013 12:08 PM 


TPS update.


"Opportunity's work has really just begun at Matijevic Hill and the rover is facing an agenda full of scientific assignments, including: finding the contact between Shoemaker Formation and the Whitewater Lake unit rocks; characterizing the composition of the tiny veins cutting through Whitewater Lake rocks; and resolving the mini-mystery of the new kind of spherules, the newberries, as Squyres dubbed them."

"... intriguing as the newberries were ..., Opportunity has yet to revisit them ..."

So hopefully they are not finished with the newberries....


Posts: 344

Reply: 179

PostPosted: January 14, 2013 1:44 AM 

The newberries seem to be associated with the veins.

Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 180

PostPosted: January 18, 2013 2:59 PM 

Barsoomer, Thanks for posting the latest Planetary Society update in 178. There is much puzzlement about the structure of Cape York. I predicted in my last post to this thread, 131, that the rover team would, "have to invoke a few different processes to explain the variety of materials at Cape York." Now they've added 2 more bedrock units for a total of 4. Previously there were the Shoemaker Formation and the basal sandstones, (see http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/pdf/1258.pdf), and now 2 more have been added: Whitewater Lake and Copper Cliff. A single unit making up Cape York would have been perfectly acceptable, had such been found. Its quite surprising really to find such a complex scene. There is a very simple explanation that emplaces all the material in a single event.

As the surge from a big impact spreads out across the landscape order develops within the moving mass. From all I've seen at Meridiani, I'm guessing that fining upwards is typical of the sort of overall stratification that happens. After travelling a distance, the higher levels become uniformly fine-grained, except for the spherules, which probably originate by accretion in a cloud above and and then fall into the surge. The largest spherules we have seen appeared in the last few meters before the Cape, during Oppy's final short steeper descent to the Cape. Further down in a moving surge larger inclusions are being carried along, and near the bottom material is being eroded from the underlying surface and recruited into the moving mass. Where the surge encounters a rough landscape the developing order is disturbed at levels deep enough to be affected by the obstacle. Strata that have developed are broken up and forced together like bottom water in a stream being forced to the surface over a protruding rock. There's no chance at all of the chaos at Cape York being deciphered by the Rover Team unless they're willing to go back 8 years and get on the right track.

And yes the Athena scientists interpret the jam on bread of Ben's Formation (or Whitewater Lake) as patches of rind. They don't explain why all the jam patches are flat planar and co-parallel, but I don't think they've noticed that. Recognizing the fine layering in the Whitewater Lake material would be a challenge to their current belief system. I still think that it is finely layered. (Maybe Newboy does too. See his 129 this thread.) Whitewater Lake also contains spherules and clay minerals like the surrounding bright rock, which has long been thought to contain about 10% nontronite. There are CHRISM clay indications around Cape York as well as on the Cape. See the map included in the PS Update. For some reason the smectites of the Whitewater Lake Formation are somewhat more visible to CHRISM than those surrounding the Cape. I see the smectites as another indication that Cape York is a minor variation on the bedrock we've been seeing all along. Cape York is a highly varied (poorly stirred together) mechanical mixture of different types of surge material from different depths that has been forced over the underlying obstacle of the crater rim.

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