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MSL moving on from Drill hole to sand on Mars

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posted on May, 19 2019 @ 04:01 PM
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The sol 2408 plan ended with the rover using its front wheel to dig a small trench in a ripple at the ripple field named "Rigg." That means today's plan is focused on studying what that scuff uncovered.



One of the big questions is where the sand comes from: by measuring the chemical composition of the sand at Rigg we can compare with sand we have seen earlier in the mission to see if the chemistry is different enough that there must be different sources. We also can compare the grain sizes in different parts of the ripple to get a better understanding of how the wind sorts sand grains under martian gravity and atmospheric pressure.


Curiosity Mission Updates - NASA Mars Curiosity Rover

The rover has finally moved on from it's hole and is checking out the sand.


Latest drill hole image flipped and adjusted. The bottom of the hole was enhanced separately due to light levels.


This is a view of the sand ripples.


A 3D cross-eyed image of the "trench".


ChemCam shot of the sand.


And adjusted, enlarged and enhanced pictures of the sand.






You can see the full-size images here on Flickr.

ETA - New rover video from NASA.

edit on 19-5-2019 by LookingAtMars because: vid




posted on May, 19 2019 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Is it just me or does some of those rocks in the last image look like spores?



posted on May, 19 2019 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: Allaroundyou

Could be, more than one scientist thinks there may be fungi on Mars. There are non-biological explanations also.

Guess we will have to go there to find out


Growing ‘fungi’ spotted in Mars Curiosity Rover photos

The full-size version of that bottom image is enlarged x4 and came out really nice for that much enlargement. X4



edit on 19-5-2019 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2019 @ 04:41 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Going to be honest but the the big rock on the upper right side kinda looks like a penis....



posted on May, 19 2019 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: Allaroundyou

I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder, but if it is, it is really small



posted on May, 19 2019 @ 06:42 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: Allaroundyou

Could be, more than one scientist thinks there may be fungi on Mars. There are non-biological explanations also.

Guess we will have to go there to find out


Growing ‘fungi’ spotted in Mars Curiosity Rover photos

The full-size version of that bottom image is enlarged x4 and came out really nice for that much enlargement. X4




Yeah, it's interesting to note, that career PhD level mycologists believe there is 100% direct evidence of fungi presence on Mars.
Although, even if there is, it's been a long time since our earliest probes touched down. Fungi spores are very resilient, and I'd wager there's a chance we brought some to Mars, unintentionally.
So, we can't really rule out that it isn't the result of our own contamination of Mars. It may not be evidence of life that originated on Mars, it could just be our fault.



posted on May, 19 2019 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: Archivalist

With the right equipment they will be able to tell if life on Mars is the same as life on Earth or if it came from a whole different beginning.



posted on May, 19 2019 @ 06:56 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: Archivalist

With the right equipment they will be able to tell if life on Mars is the same as life on Earth or if it came from a whole different beginning.


Potentially, but it may be harder to differentiate than we expect.

Mars and Earth have been exchanging raw material for billions of years. As it stands now, there is a hypothesis that life may have been exchanged between these two planets. I'm sure we can differentiate it, by radioactive isotope comparison.
In terms of genetics though, they might be more closely related, than anticipated.







 
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