Special Research Articles

Pancam Multispectral Imaging Results from the Opportunity Rover at Meridiani Planum

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Science  03 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5702, pp. 1703-1709
DOI: 10.1126/science.1105245

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Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images from Meridiani Planum reveal a low-albedo, generally flat, and relatively rock-free surface. Within and around impact craters and fractures, laminated outcrop rocks with higher albedo are observed. Fine-grained materials include dark sand, bright ferric iron–rich dust, angular rock clasts, and millimeter-size spheroidal granules that are eroding out of the laminated rocks. Spectra of sand, clasts, and one dark plains rock are consistent with mafic silicates such as pyroxene and olivine. Spectra of both the spherules and the laminated outcrop materials indicate the presence of crystalline ferric oxides or oxyhydroxides. Atmospheric observations show a steady decline in dust opacity during the mission. Astronomical observations captured solar transits by Phobos and Deimos and time-lapse observations of sunsets.

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