MECA-OM Images - Page 4

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Brian


Posts: 1

Reply: 61



PostPosted: July 19, 2008 3:10 AM 

Hortin,
Labor intensive is an understatement. The substrate is shown as blue/violet on colour composites on the Phoenix site so I reckon Hortcolour is pretty close. Not so sure about the patterns though. Given that the sample is scraped during retraction and then moved to the vertical some movement of particles into seeming patterns would seem inevitable. The greenish tinge is interesting. Olivine?

rpage Author Profile Page


Posts: 655

Reply: 62



PostPosted: July 20, 2008 12:16 AM 

These may be rinds of salt/dust material left over from ice sublimation.

When ice forms on the surface of earth in dusty or sooty areas the dust/soot is incorporated into the growing body of the ice. When the ice melts away (day by day) sometimes you can see concentric layers of soot/dust. Each layer represents the soot/dust deposited by ice melting and water evaporation during a warm day.
The layers are concentric because the ice chunk is shrinking each day, leaving behind non-volatile residue.

On Mars, at this location, we have ice that builds up seasonally and then sublimates away during warmer seasons (such as we are now in).

The ice accumulates over daily cycles and dust/salt is blown onto the accumulating ice from time to time. When the ice sublimates away the dust is concentrated on the surface layer of the sublimating chunk of ice. Cycles of ice block shrinkage deposit concentric circles and filaments of dust/salts. Each warmer sublimation cycle would result in shrinkage of the outer edges of the ice block. As the ice block shrinks it's former edges are marked by a filament, coil or roundish filament.

I hope that there is a less mundane explanation for these fascinating structures. If life were involved here, the surface of a sublimating block would probably be a great place to be. The microbes would have sun and water. Maybe these filaments represent the dried remains of microbial life that lived on the surface of sublimating ice blocks. It is possible that there may be dormant spores and microbe remains in these filaments. These may be relatively recent, from the past winter or few. I wonder if the seasonal ice has preferential nucleation sites where ice forms first each season and accumulates the most in these areas.

There must be some way to show if these odloid/ellipsoid/loops result from ice block sublimation deposition.

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 63



PostPosted: July 22, 2008 3:08 PM 

rpage

Your explanation of the coils has a ring of truth and believability to it.

Winston

dx Author Profile Page


Posts: 1661

Reply: 64



PostPosted: July 23, 2008 6:49 AM 

Well now, that makes sense rpage 'ponding' of dirty evaporative water. And this can be seen in one of horton's pics showing the ice 'slab' under the Phoenix a few weeks ago. He wondered what was on the ice face as 2 distinct circular rings, [I said fossils-joking of course] albeit the pic angle made them oval. The ice is evaporating alright. Can't recall the thread at this time.

yt
dx

brian Author Profile Page


Posts: 708

Reply: 65



PostPosted: July 23, 2008 8:14 AM 

We are talking about Hort's reply 60 image of the MECA OM aren't we? The OM has a field of two square millimeters.
The sample has been dug out, mixed in handling, vibrated onto the substrate, scraped leaving a particle maximum height of 200um and the substrate has been moved vertical to image. It is hard to see how the sublimating ice rind theory would be applicable with this preparation and at this scale, although it would certainly be a contender for a similar phenomona for an undisturbed soil surface at the macro scale.

The substrate itself has varying grids and hole patterns that would possibly give the illusion of lines when the sample is distributed..

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 66



PostPosted: July 23, 2008 8:58 AM 

Hi Brian

Very good point above. But why are you so certain that sublimation could not be at work at the micro scale?

Winston

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 67



PostPosted: July 23, 2008 9:15 AM 

Hi Hort (If you are lurking)

There has just been a sol 57 release of another set of OM images on the U of Arizona site with explanations re. rotations, etc. which should go a long way to understanding and perhaps eventually fixing our own OMs.

Winston

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 68



PostPosted: July 23, 2008 2:43 PM 

Hi All

Here are 2 of today's (sol 57) OM images, my colourizations. Lots of particles that may or may not be biological. The dark coloured ones should be of particular interest.

Winston

LWS Author Profile Page


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Reply: 69



PostPosted: July 23, 2008 3:25 PM 

Oops

The second image above is the wrong one. Here's the correct image, hopefully

Winston

brian Author Profile Page


Posts: 708

Reply: 70



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 3:53 AM 

Hi Winston,
re 66, not at all. My point is that we could possibly see evidence of rpage's proposed sublimation rings on an undisturbed surface if it exists. Thoroughly disrupt the soil and ensure that only a few really tiny particles remain for analysis as with the OM sample and and there is no chance of seeing any indication of this.

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 71



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 7:51 AM 

Hi Brian

Good point!

Winston

hortonheardawho


Posts: 3465

Reply: 72



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 9:01 AM 

Winston, thanks for the color OMs.

I'm finally "on vacation" and have very limited computer access. ( I just figured out a problem on my cousin's machine that stopped her from accessing the web and headed here first. )

I'll check the new MER and Phoenix raw images -- but I don't have any tools to process the images -- so it's up to LWS and mann for a while.

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 73



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 2:29 PM 

Hi Hort

Thanks for the heads-up.

Here's one of today's OM releases, colourizations by me. Usual caveat on real colour. But they do look pretty don't they.

Magnetic media, particles about 100 uM average. Lots of minerals for the geologists to identify.

Winston

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 74



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 3:31 PM 

Hi All

This might be what I was looking for.

Here's my colouration of an OM series image released today. Note the slime mould like characteristics of the material which covers the "virtual slide". Of course it may be contamination from Earth, but I suspect it Is'nt. If it is it would explain the bstrange cohesivity of the soil and many other things.

Enjoy!!

The image is magnified by 2.

Winston

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 75



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 4:40 PM 

All

Whatever it is, unless the material is also present in the control "before" image from Earth, this image (at reply #74) should be the top priority for further examination by the AFM unless or until further good ones come along.

Winston

Brian


Posts: 708

Reply: 76



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 6:09 PM 

Hi Winston,

Good job - Hort have a well deserved break.

Is this substrate one of the sticky polymers?

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 77



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 8:00 PM 

HI Brian

I've been trying to determine which substrate it is without success so far. The image label info gives a rotational position (12942) and a focus position (49111) but I can't find where they fit on the substrate wheel so far.

I suspect that it is the substrate which has given rise to the organic appearance seen, perhaps one of the silicone substrates or the pho bucket substrate. I've also tried to see if there was a "before" image also without success so far.

For now, it looks as if the organic appearance is due to the substrate and not anything from Mars.

Winston

Fred


Posts: 638

Reply: 78



PostPosted: July 24, 2008 8:39 PM 

Oh yea, more questions. No base line. See the blooms

Fred

brian Author Profile Page


Posts: 708

Reply: 79



PostPosted: July 25, 2008 8:30 AM 

Hi Winston.
Maybe this link will help. Gives the weightings for the LED illuminations for a RGB and at the bottom of the page is a link t0 a table. The table correlates the rotational position to the substrates (with a caveat that it might slip a position).
http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/science_micro.php

Post73, Yep, real pretty.

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 80



PostPosted: July 25, 2008 2:58 PM 

Brian

Thanks for the link. It is the one I've been using to get the raw images. It has a lot of data there that is useful but the table in the link is dated and does not include the images released yesterday. A new or updated table would give me all the data I need.

In the meantime I must apologize for the reply #24 pic. It seems to be really of two filters only; an infrared and 2 natural dark filters. There is no indication of where the "before" images are therefore from the data released so far it does not seem possible to tell with certitude what those objects are except that there are strong indications from other pics that they are of the substrate.

Winston

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