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Geomorphology of Gale Crater, Rock on!
Don1
post Sep 28 2012, 05:48 AM
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Anybody like the idea of a mud volcano for Mt Sharp? Looking at the way the upper layers are tilted, it looks like something came out of the top and flowed down the flanks. In fact I think I recall reading something about a hydrothermal spring as an origin theory for the mound.

Somebody asked about the size of the impactor that made the crater. Gale is about the same size as Chicxulub, which is linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs, and is said to have been made by a 6 mile diameter asteroid.
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xflare
post Sep 28 2012, 08:41 AM
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What kind of theories and ideas are floating around to possibly explain the composition and origin of the Glenelg/high thermal emission region? It seems to be right at the base of the Alluvial fan. Perhaps it's where that water pooled into a small lake.
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ngunn
post Sep 28 2012, 10:46 AM
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See the discussion I referred to in post 10 for starters, plus the MSL team's conclusion that the fan extends to the landing site, i.e. beyond the margin of HTIF.
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Eyesonmars
post Sep 28 2012, 01:18 PM
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QUOTE (serpens @ Sep 28 2012, 05:10 AM) *
Not unique. Emily did a rather nice presentation on this.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakda.../2011/3144.html


I based my comment on many hours of using the VERY cool app "Mars Globe" by M. Howard and brought to my attention by E. Lakdawalla. It is a must have app on the iPad. (everyone I show it to is fascinated by it)
While I do see quite a few craters with what might be central sedimentary mounds. Most of them could also be remnant central peaks and are much smaller compared to their craters than Mt. Sharp.
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Art Martin
post Sep 28 2012, 08:01 PM
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I'm having a hard time reconciling from the newly released pictures where exactly Glenelg is in them. When I look at the overhead route updates it appears the rover is moving East (I'm assuming North is to the top of the image) along the base of Mt Sharp with Glenelg further to the East. Logic says that if we're facing Glenelg and targeting it in the images, Mt Sharp should be to the left and yet all the images being returned are looking to the left of Mt Sharp or at its left-most flanks. Could someone show an overhead route map that includes where Mt. Sharp is in context of our journeys and what direction these latest images are pointing.
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ngunn
post Sep 28 2012, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Art Martin @ Sep 28 2012, 09:01 PM) *
Could someone show an overhead route map that includes where Mt. Sharp is in context of our journeys and what direction these latest images are pointing.


Here:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...st&p=192020
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Phil Stooke
post Sep 28 2012, 08:08 PM
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Art, Mt Sharp runs all around the south horizon from due east to south to southwest. It's really big! The pics ngunn linked to show that well.

Phil


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elakdawalla
post Sep 28 2012, 08:08 PM
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I made this two days ago -- it's an un-polar projection (if that makes sense) of the CTX image of Gale, centered on Curiosity's landing site. The bottom edge of the image is Curiosity's location (the "pole," if you will); the top edge is about 18 kilometers away. Everything along the same horizontal line in this image is at the same distance from the rover. Due south is in the center of the image; due north is at the edges.

The sand dunes skirting the mountain occupy about 160 degrees of Curiosity's point of view, which means you'll see the mountain on your right if you're looking east, on your left if you're looking west, and in front of you if you're looking south; the only time the mountain wouldn't be in your field of view is if you're looking north.
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Art Martin
post Sep 28 2012, 08:41 PM
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Thanks, so much clearer now. I just had no idea of the scale of things before. The link from ngunn put things into perspective and spun me around the right direction. Amazing image Emily, thanks. The lines showing our travels wouldn't even show up on your picture other than maybe a pixel. Ok back to lurking in amazement.
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ngunn
post Sep 28 2012, 09:40 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Sep 28 2012, 09:08 PM) *
un-polar projection (if that makes sense)


I really like these. James Canvin used them effectively to identify horizon features seen by Opportunity and he calls them 'inverse polars'. I think that's a good term for them. Any chance of extending yours to include the crater rim?
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elakdawalla
post Sep 28 2012, 10:17 PM
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That is precisely what I was using it for. Don't know when I'll get to finish this, so here's a preliminary version, featuring a touch of Phil-O-Vision.

It'd be easy to make a version extending to the rim. How many pixels wide would be useful? Is 3600 enough? 7200?
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Guest_fthurber_*
post Sep 28 2012, 10:57 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Sep 28 2012, 06:17 PM) *
That is precisely what I was using it for. Don't know when I'll get to finish this, so here's a preliminary version, featuring a touch of Phil-O-Vision.

It'd be easy to make a version extending to the rim. How many pixels wide would be useful? Is 3600 enough? 7200?


WOW! Nice job. BTW, the dragon's teeth at the bottom of the sulfate layer look like nunateks, but, of course, they are not. I assume that the vertical scale in the bottom picture is exaggerated, right?
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elakdawalla
post Sep 29 2012, 12:15 AM
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Here you go. Attached version is 3600 pixels wide (10 pixels per degree) and somewhat compressed. Here is a less-compressed 7200 wide version. The original data for this one was at about 55 meters per pixel, so it's of lower quality in the near field, but it's fine at the distance of the crater rim.
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atomoid
post Sep 29 2012, 01:34 AM
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QUOTE (Eyesonmars @ Sep 27 2012, 02:16 PM) *
Also note that Curiosity is sitting on or very near the lowest spot on the planet (outside of Hellas). ...

i'd always thought Hellas was an ancient ancient impact resulting in a sort of unsuspecting ocean basin much later, though i don't know if theres much evidence of that.
Makes me wonder on how much Gale's similarly lower elevation affected atmospheric pressure back during that thicker warmer atmosphere? im curious what models might suggest as far as atmospheric pressure at Gale vs the mean elevation during that time and if it makes sense to expect that to have much impact on making a Gale lake more habitable.
Or the processional inclination at the time might have kept the Gale interior iced over with Vostok-style lake beneath but probably heated by plenty of geothermal activity. how much glaciation and erosion of the crater walls would be expected under that scenario and if extensive, could evidence of that type have been erased by now.
ok, too many stray hairs, i wont even get started on Mt Sharp, its all too enigmatic..
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dvandorn
post Sep 29 2012, 02:36 AM
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QUOTE (atomoid @ Sep 28 2012, 08:34 PM) *
i'd always thought Hellas was an ancient ancient impact resulting in a sort of unsuspecting ocean basin much later, though i don't know if theres much evidence of that.

I used to think along those lines, too. But the orbiters (especially Odyssey) have seen almost no indication of hydrogen in Hellas -- i.e., no indication of subsurface ice or even strongly hydrated materials.

Instead of harboring water in the past, these results tend to indicate that Hellas has never seen much water at all. I think that's likely why it has never been considered as an attractive landing site, even though it is such a low spot that the atmospheric pressure there is higher at the surface than just about anywhere else on Mars.

Hellas would be a wonderful landing site if you're looking to examine Martian mantle materials, because it is certainly deep enough to have exhumed mantle rocks. Geologically speaking, it's very attractive. But since the main interest in Mars is (and, I think, always has been) the investigation of water, habitability and life, the geologic questions that drove the exploration and analysis of the Moon are taking a back seat to the water- and life-seekers when it comes to Mars.

-the other Doug


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