Saturday, February 1, 2014

South from Husband Hill

This section from a panorama that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired in October 2005 from the top of "Husband Hill" presents the view toward the south from that summit. The entire 360-degree vista from Spirit's panoramic camera (Pancam) is available at

After climbing Husband Hill, Spirit spent more than four years exploring locations within this view, including the "Comanche" outcrop and the "Home Plate" area. At Comanche, the rover found carbonate minerals, evidence of an ancient wet environment that was not acidic, and also a clue that some of the carbon dioxide in Mars' original atmosphere may have been converted to carbonates. Near Home Plate, Spirit found a deposit of nearly pure silica, evidence of an ancient environment of hot springs or steam vents.

The summit of Husband Hill is a broad plateau of rock outcrops and windblown drifts about 100 meters (300 feet) higher than the surrounding plains of Gusev Crater, where Spirit landed in January 2004.

This approximately true-color scene combines images taken through three different Pancam color filters, centered on wavelengths of 750 nanometers, 530 nanometers and 430 nanometers.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

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