01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Dust Detection by Curiosity's ChemCamThe Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover fired its laser 50 times at its onboard graphite target during the 27th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Sept. 2, 2012). This series of graphs shows spectral measurements from the first shot, which hit dust on the target, compared to spectral measurements of from the 50th shot, which hit only the graphite target material because early shots had removed the dust.
The Shot 1 spectrum reveals the composition of the dust layer covering the target, which includes, among other elements, magnesium (Mg), silicon (Si), calcium (Ca), aluminum (Al), potassium (K), oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), and carbon (C). The carbon lines are due to the coupling with the atmosphere, which is mainly carbon dioxide. Hydrogen reveals the presence of hydroxyl groups, water molecules or both. The Shot 50 spectrum is that of a carbon-pure target, with lines of carbon and oxygen only.
ChemCam observes spectral characteristics of dust on every first shot at any target analyzed on Mars.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS