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American Geophysical Union

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The Microscopic Imager (MI) on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has returned images of Mars with higher resolution than any previous camera system, allowing detailed petrographic and sedimentological studies of the rocks and soils at the Meridiani Planum landing site. Designed to simulate a geologist's hand lens, the MI is mounted on Opportunity's instrument arm and can resolve objects 0.1 mm across or larger. This paper provides an overview of MI operations, data calibration, and analysis of MI data returned during the first 900 sols (Mars days) of the Opportunity landed mission. Analyses of Opportunity MI data have helped to resolve major questions about the origin of observed textures and features. These...
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We investigate the spectral reflectance properties of channels and mountain ranges on Titan using data from Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) obtained during the T9 encounter (26 December 2005). We identify the location of channels and mountains using synthetic aperture radar maps obtained from Cassini's RADAR instrument during the T13 (30 April 2006) flyby. Channels are evident even in VIMS imaging with spatial resolution coarser than the channel size. The channels share spectral characteristics with Titan's dark blue terrain (e.g., the Huygens landing site) that is consistent with an enhancement in water ice content relative to the rest of Titan. We use this fact to measure widths of ???1...
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This study achieves the first high-spatial-resolution, layer-scale, measured stratigraphic column of the Martian north polar layered deposits using a 1m-posting DEM. The marker beds found throughout the upper North Polar Layered Deposits range in thickness from 1.6 m-16.0 m +/-1.4 m, and 6 of 13 marker beds are separated by ???25-35 m. Thin-layer sets have average layer separations of 1.6 m. These layer separations may account for the spectral-power-peaks found in previous brightness-profile analyses. Marker-bed layer thicknesses show a weak trend of decreasing thickness with depth that we interpret to potentially be the result of a decreased accumulation rate in the past, for those layers. However, the stratigraphic...
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Excavating into the shallow Martian subsurface has the potential to expose stratigraphic layers and mature regolith, which may hold a record of more ancient aqueous interactions than those expected under current Martian surface conditions. During the Spirit rover's exploration of Gusev crater, rover wheels were used to dig three trenches into the subsurface regolith down to 6-11 cm depth: Road Cut, the Big Hole, and The Boroughs. A high oxidation state of Fe and high concentrations of Mg, S, Cl, and Br were found in the subsurface regolith within the two trenches on the plains, between the Bonneville crater and the foot of Columbia Hills. Data analyses on the basis of geochemistry and mineralogy observations suggest...
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The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has discovered bright soil deposits in its wheel tracks that previously have been confirmed to contain ferric sulfates and/or opaline silica. Repeated Pancam multispectral observations have been acquired at four of these deposits to monitor spectral and textural changes over time during exposure to Martian surface conditions. Previous studies suggested that temporal spectral changes occur because of mineralogic changes (e.g., phase transitions accompanying dehydration). In this study, we present a multispectral and temporal analysis of eight Pancam image sequences at the Tyrone exposure, three at the Gertrude Weise exposure, two at the Kit Carson exposure, and ten at the Ulysses...
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