NASA / JPL / CORNELL / USGS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL / CORNELL / USGS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Martian rock. Micrograph of a patch of rock on Mars. This is a close-up of part of a bedrock outcrop near to where the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on 24 January 2004. The finely-layered rock contains spherical granules (one at centre right), which may have been formed from molten rock sprayed into the air by a volcano or meteorite impact, or by the accretion in water of successive mineral layers around a smaller particle. The spheres are gradually being released from the rock as it is eroded by windblown sand. This 3-centimetre-wide image was taken by Opportunity's microscopic imager.
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