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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bright Rocks and “Bright Angel” – NASA Science

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Dodging dunes at Dunraven Pass, we approached Mount Washburn, an outcrop which our Mastcam-Z camera identified from a distance as having spectrally diverse boulders and patches of lighter-toned bedrock. Upon arriving, we were amazed by the variety of colors and textures in the rocks around the rover and immediately got to work planning observations with our remote sensing instruments. Much of our focus was on “Atoko Point”, a bright boulder with dark speckles. After acquiring numerous Mastcam-Z multispectral images and zapping Atoko Point with our SuperCam laser, we began to look towards our next goal: “Bright Angel”. This exposure of light-toned rock, northwest of our current location, stands out vividly in orbital imagery. By examining outcrops at Bright Angel and assessing stratigraphic relationships (i.e. the vertical sequence and stacking of different sets of rocks), it is hoped that we can understand its connection to Neretva Vallis and the crater rim.

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