Curiosity update: Swinging by the sandbox

NLB_566255554EDR_F0671238NCAM00375M_-br2Sol 1902-03, December 12, 2017, update by MSL scientist Michelle Minniti: The majority of the time on the “Vera Rubin Ridge,” Curiosity focuses on the rocks that make up the ridge, measuring their chemistry and imaging their structure to try and understand the origin of this prominent feature in Gale crater. Today, however, sand was the focus of Curiosity’s attention. Small depressions gather sand as the wind blows along the ridge, and the team wanted to measure the chemistry and grain size of such a Vera Rubin Ridge sand deposit to understand their similarities (or differences) to those of the Bagnold dune sands. MAHLI and APXS were deployed on two targets, “Goatfell” and “Eilean Dubh.” The former is along the crest of a sand ripple, and the latter avoids ripple crests to provide the largest contrast to Goatfell. ChemCam will raster across another ripple crest at “Stonehaven,” and Mastcam will acquire a multispectral observation at “Corrie” that covers the ripple crests targeted by ChemCam, MAHLI and APXS. [More at link]

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