Bright crusts, a ‘flower’ and a rock with a tail: more interesting images from Curiosity

Mastcam image from sol 135 showing bright crust-like material on a rock.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

While the unusual “bubbles” have attracted a lot of attention, there are some other interesting surface features that the Curiosity science team has also been looking at recently. This region of Yellowknife Bay inside Gale crater appears to have a rich geological history, with many little puzzles for scientists to piece together. Some of the best examples so far are shown here.

Many of the rocks in this area have patches of some kind of bright material on them. A close-up view of one of them shows a mottled-looking “crust” on the rock. What is it made? How did it form?

A translucent-appearing object embedded in another rock has prompted a lot of discussion as well. Some people have referred to it as a “flower” although it looks more like some kind of bright mineral, perhaps quartz? Is it related to the other bright patches? Or could it be another piece of plastic from the rover itself, similar to one seen previously? Probably not, since Guy Webster, NASA spokesman for Mars missions, has confirmed that it is apparently embedded in the rock and is not a piece of debris from the rover.

Martian rocks are also often worn by wind and sand into a wide variety of interesting, sometimes bizarre-looking shapes. The last image is a nice example, of a rock with a long, thin “tail.”

Curiosity is now almost ready to do its first drilling into a rock within the next few days or so; the analysis results should be interesting!

ChemCam image showing close-up view of the bright crust-like material from previous image. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Mastcam image from sol 141 showing more bright material on another rock.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Close-up view of the bright material from previous image. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Mastcam image from sol 132 showing translucent-appearing object (lower left) embedded in a rock. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Close-up view of translucent object from previous image. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Mastcam image from sol 138 showing an interesting rock with long “tail.”
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

  1. Curiosity been watching TV…. The Bubbles you saw were just a reflection of the heap of fishes being fed to GODZILLA, in the movie……

    And The flowers…… Aha….. Later he checked into a Virtual PORN CAFE…. to change weather pattern around them…..

    And they regret, why the images were not that clear…..

    This is agent 16XBD signing off from the VIRTUAL STUDIOS Inc.

    But what is it that, you are searching for ?….. And what do you plan to do with the alien, you might be forced to encounter…. It is not a wise idea to chase strangers in the astral…..

    1. By now it must have become clear to you…. that some of the people crawling on planet earth, have strange abilities….. and most themselves are unaware of them…..

      and if they become aware…. the rest of the world calls them Lunatics….

      You folks are just wasting your time, money & other resources to trouble other STARS…… Errrr, some people down here…..

      Don’t trouble them, don’t spy on them, don’t ever follow them in the heaven…. without their knowledge & consent….. or you will face BAD WEATHER….. and the arks, shields & armor (aliens) somewhere might perish….. And blame only yourself for the outcome…..

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