06.21.2017 A.I. laser targeting
06.01.2017 Diagram of Lake Stratification on Mars
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
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
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
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