Mars Pathfinder Page

Mars Pathfinder Science

Spectroscopy of the Rocks

The rover camera is equipped with a "spot" spectrograph which essentially takes images in narrow spectral bands. This data can be taken on fine spatial scales on interesting looking rocks. The first rock which was selected for this analysis is one in which a band of light color material (called the "stripe") runs down the center of the rock. This is clearly visible in this
image which also shows the area in which the multispectral spot scan occurred. These are shown in the masthead to this page and each spectrum is color coded to the location on the rock in which the spectra as measured. While morphologically the stripe looks like a vein or an intrusion of a different kind of material into the rock, the spectra shows the reflectance properties between the stripe and the red sampled areas are identical. This shows that the stripe is similar to the nearby dark soil and probably represents a windblown accumulation of said soil into a pre-existing crack.

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