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Spirit Mission Journal

Rover: Spirit Date: October 29, 2004

This frame from Spirit’s Pancam panoramic camera is the 50,000th image from the Mars Exploration Rovers. It shows the MarsDial, the camera’s calibration target, with a glimpse of rocks and soil at the location in the "Columbia Hills" where Spirit was examining soil during its 260th martian day, or sol (Sept. 25, 2004). The outer circle of the calibration target is 8 centimeters (3.15 inches) in diameter. The target includes reference colors and a shadow-casting post.

Rover: Spirit Date: October 14, 2004

One of the ways scientists collect mineralogical data about rocks on Mars is to view them through filters that allow only specific wavelengths of light to pass through the lens of the Pancam camera. Spirit took this false-color image of the rock nicknamed "Tetl" on its 270th sol (Oct. 5, 2004) using the panoramic camera’s 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters. Darker red hues in the image correspond to greater concentrations of oxidized soil and dust. Bluer hues correspond to portions of rock that are not as heavily coated with soils or are not as highly oxidized. Scientists hope to investigate "Tetl" to determine if its layering is either volcanic or sedimentary in origin.

Rover: Spirit Date: October 7, 2004

This approximate true-color, 360-degree Pancam image mosaic of the "Columbia Hills" is nicknamed the "Cahokia panorama" after the Native American archaeological site near St. Louis. The dark patch of soil to the right is the spot where Spirit stopped for engineering work on its right front wheel. The image was acquired between sols 213 to 223 (Aug. 9 to 19, 2004).

Rover: Spirit Date: September 30, 2004

Now that solar conjunction is over, communication between Earth and Mars is no longer blocked by the Sun and Spirit can continue its trek through the "Columbia Hills." Scientists hope to investigate this horizontally layered rock dubbed "Tetl." Layering can be either volcanic or sedimentary in origin and researchers aim to determine which of these processes created this rock. If for some reason "Tetl" is not favorably positioned for grinding and examination, Spirit will study a similar rock located nearby.

Rover: Spirit Date: September 24, 2004

An imprint of Spirit’s Mössbauer Spectrometer in martian soil.

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