Special Research Articles

Initial Results from the Mini-TES Experiment in Gusev Crater from the Spirit Rover

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Science  06 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5685, pp. 837-842
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100564

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The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) on Spirit has studied the mineralogy and thermophysical properties at Gusev crater. Undisturbed soil spectra show evidence for minor carbonates and bound water. Rocks are olivinerich basalts with varying degrees of dust and other coatings. Dark-toned soils observed on disturbed surfaces may be derived from rocks and have derived mineralogy (±5 to 10%) of 45% pyroxene (20% Ca-rich pyroxene and 25% pigeonite), 40% sodic to intermediate plagioclase, and 15% olivine (forsterite 45% ±5 to 10). Two spectrally distinct coatings are observed on rocks, a possible indicator of the interaction of water, rock, and airfall dust. Diurnal temperature data indicate particle sizes from 40 to 80 μm in hollows to ∼0.5 to 3 mm in soils.

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