Curious about Curiosity - Page 17

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Barsoomer


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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 3:20 PM 

Winston, it was said the DAN team were still working on interpreting that graph as H abundance and they should have results in the next few days.

MPJ


Posts: 250

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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 3:31 PM 

Its starts to get interesting slowly. Smile

Regarding the DAN: from the official description - http://msl-scicorner.jpl.nasa.gov/Instruments/DAN/ - and included reference plots (in awfull bad resolution) it seems a higher water content results in lower values up to the 10^5 time interval (compare the orange plot which is the highest water content) which is what we see in the first MSL/DAN readings against the pre-launch test values.

If that is correct the actual values show a higher H content than in the material used for pre-launch tests. Smile

Mizar


Posts: 692

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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 3:47 PM 

Well, a 1.715 MB JPG pan is not that bad...for Curiosity!

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16092

Barsoomer


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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 3:50 PM 

link

First Chemcam spectrum from laser shot on Coronation Rock.

MPJ


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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 4:35 PM 

The spectrum really looks interesting - seems all ingredients for extreme life there minus the C if it really is atmospheric C. I wonder how ChemCam can discriminate atmospheric C from laser burned C of a sample though.

And this is interesting too: "he hydrogen peak was only present on the first laser shot, indicating that the element was only on the very surface of the rock" Moisture?

LWS


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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 6:09 PM 

Barsoomer;

At the surface? Are you sure?
That, if so, would be the biggest news so far.

The Carbon could be important too.

Winston

LWS


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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 6:26 PM 

MPJ; You said it starts to get interesting slowly. I agree, except that I think the pace of getting interesting is fairly rapid, not slow.

The Hydrogen on the surface is of extreme importance. Depending on the time the shot was taken, if there was hydrogen on the surface only, it could represent a thin film of water (not a hydrated salt) that had not yet sublimated.

It would also suggest that a study is needed by chem cam of the surface of the soil with time over a whole day. That should give some interesting results.

I also note that there may be significant manganese in the sample. Is that also a general characteristic of basalt rocks?

Winston

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

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PostPosted: August 22, 2012 8:24 PM 

link

I think the above link will get to a recording of the press conference. (When I get home, I will try listening to it myself.)

It was said at the press conference that H was also detected when the ChemCam laser was used on targets on the rover itself. My take on the body language was that the scientist speaking was a little unsure about how to interpret the H detection.

Barsoomer


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Reply: 329



PostPosted: August 22, 2012 11:53 PM 

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/24889670

This might be a better source for replaying the press conference.

MPJ


Posts: 250

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PostPosted: August 23, 2012 3:39 AM 

Winston, I take it the ChemCam only registers elements but neither its oxidation state nor chemical compounds which they are part off.

Main components of basalt (from the german wiki entry):
SiO2 ~ 50%
Al2O3 ~ 20%
FeO, CaO und MgO each around 10%
K2O and Na2O ~ 5%
TiO2 and sulfur compounds in low quantities

Manganese has been registered as trace element in the sample rock - very interesting for the life question indeed.
Unfortunately they only detected a change in abundance of elements in successive laser shots regarding hydrogen so this does not point to something like a rock varnish on that rock. Yet the question is what hydrogen bearing compound was there on the surface of the rock? Very Happy

hortonheardawho


Posts: 3465

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PostPosted: August 23, 2012 7:51 AM 

sol 13 Mastcam 3D of peculiar "spiral" rock:

with location link.

Ah, good. The Mastcam 100 can focus.

Ah bad. The resolution of the Mastcam 34 ( left eye ) is 34% of the Mastcam 100 ( right eye ). I enlarged the left eye to match the higher resolution right eye. The brain ( at least my brain ) uses the fuzzy image for depth clues and the sharper image for detail.

This single image was a ton of work - including guess work about which filter was which. I don't think I will be doing many.

hortonheardawho


Posts: 3465

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PostPosted: August 23, 2012 9:06 AM 

sol 0013 Mastcam 3D enhanced difference natural color:

These can be created without too much trouble from the RGB Mastcam images.

Say, I wonder if the yellow soil was targeted by Chemcam? ( I sure would look at it.) My WAG: sulfur.

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

Reply: 333



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 11:12 AM 

> Unfortunately they only detected a change in ... hydrogen ....

Hi MPJ,

Actually, the ChemCam scientist at the press conference said they also detected a change in magnesium. So it could be some compound involving a hydrated magnesium oxide. (A small change in oxygen would be drowned out by the huge abundance of oxygen in all rocks.) Maybe magnesium perchlorate? I'm wondering why no chlorine or sulfur shows up in the spectrum---maybe it is not detectable by chemcam? The ChemCam scientist indicated they were wondering about dust as the source of the hydrogen signal.

Horton, I think Joy Crisp said that they would be doing some stereo by taking mastcam 100 images from two different positions.

hortonheardawho


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Reply: 334



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 12:17 PM 

Curiosity sol 0013 pan of Mount Sharp climbing path:

I have added a 100 meter line to the bottom. The rover would be a couple of pixels at this scale!

MPJ


Posts: 250

Reply: 335



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 1:59 PM 

Nice image Horton! Looks like thats the layers the geologists are after. Smile

Barsoomer, the only "dust" like hydrogen bearing compound which comes to ones mind immediately would be snow (h20 or even h202). Actually both substances would melt/evaporate at the highest temperatures measured as of yet so must be "replenished" regulary. In case of h2o it could be morning frost. Smile

Perchlorates doesn't contain hydrogen

Another possibility could be some hydrocarbons in the dust or just hydrated dust? Laughing

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

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PostPosted: August 23, 2012 3:15 PM 

[link]

Sol 15 Weather Report for Gale Crater, Mars.

Note the absolute humidity of 7%.

MPJ, I was thinking of a hydrated perchlorate (which is, I think, hygroscopic).

MPJ


Posts: 250

Reply: 337



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 4:03 PM 

Barsoomer, that's right and was already discussed regarding the Phoenix findings of perchlorate: http://www.universetoday.com/93848/salty-soil-on-mars-could-be-slurping-water-from-the-atmosphere/

"The salty perchlorates found on Mars by the Phoenix lander also strongly attracts water and makes up a few tenths of a percent of the composition in all three soil samples analyzed by Phoenix's wet chemistry laboratory. Principal investigator of the Phoenix mission, Peter Smith from the University of Arizona, Tucson, said the perchlorates could pull humidity from the Martian air."

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 338



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 8:17 PM 

Here's a auto white balanced in gimp redo of an image of Mt. Sharp by NASA/JPL

Note the blues and greens. I couldn't help thinking that the area of dark blues and other blue green colours not far from Curi seemed like microbial mats.

Wonder if the CURI handlers will give that area the full treatment?

Winston

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

Reply: 339



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 11:24 PM 

Going by today's weather report, the partial pressure of water in the atmosphere at Gale is about 0.6 millibars now. According to the table in the link, this means water would precipitate at around -30 degrees Celsius, i.e., overnight each night at present. If the rover takes an early morning image, it might see frost in some areas.

marsman


Posts: 303

Reply: 340



PostPosted: August 23, 2012 11:59 PM 

The following link has some good info on perchlorate brines:

[link]

/R

marsman

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