QUOTE (dvandorn @ Oct 27 2007, 11:31 PM)
See, I've been saying that the features along the boundaries of HP looked to me like the fine laminations you get at the edges of hydrothermal vents since last Martian fall. It's be really nice to find some mineralogical support for it!
BTW, last I heard (again a while back), there was still a pretty committed contingent on the MER science teams who favored a hydrothermal vent theory. I know we have a few people from those teams who post here on occasion -- can any of you comment on the thinking of the science teams as of late?
-the other Doug
And I've heard speculation that it is a volcanic glass, the idea quoted obsidian. It is likely not obsidian, since that "mineral" is derived from a felsic (rhyolitic/granitic) magma and everything we've seen here is basaltic. I'm not terribly hot on ig/met pet, so I'm not sure what is a basaltic volcanic glass. My initial and gut-ish intuition is a sulfide, since we have iron and sulfur and heat in abundance here. But this bright luster is significant . Not only do we have the major flare-producing rocks, there are aslo many small areas of "sparkle" visible.
One idea I've had is that we have an aluminum wheel that is locked up and being dragged. Could it be that the aluminum is rubbing off onto the hard rocks? That sounds unlikely, but I thought I'd toss it out.
Not subscribing much to conspiracy theories, but in the two L257 trios that have come down, each pair has a "data loss" area on a channel. Not unusual, it happens. But usually, the black data loss area has a fuzzy "jpeg border", and these two occurances have pixel-sharp data loss area borders, which is very unusual.
So much for the X-Files, we now return to the arena of rational discussion.