NASA / JPL / US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL / US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Martian soil. Micrograph of a patch of soil on Mars, showing coarse grains on a fine layer of sand. The spherical particles, such as at bottom left, may have been formed by the cooling of molten rock, or by the accretion of successive layers around a smaller particle. Other particles are more jagged in appearance, suggesting they have a different origin. This 3cm-wide image was taken by the microscopic imager instrument on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on 3 February 2004, its 10th day on Mars. For a colour-stretched version of the same image, see R360/122.
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