Bruce Murray Space Image Library

'Buckskin' drill hole and CheMin x-ray diffraction

'Buckskin' drill hole and CheMin x-ray diffraction
'Buckskin' drill hole and CheMin x-ray diffraction

The graph at right presents information from the Curiosity rover's onboard analysis of rock powder drilled from the "Buckskin" target location, shown at left. X-ray diffraction analysis of the Buckskin sample inside the rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument revealed the presence of a silica-containing mineral named tridymite. This is the first detection of tridymite on Mars. Peaks in the X-ray diffraction pattern are from minerals in the sample, and every mineral has a diagnostic set of peaks that allows identification. The image of Buckskin at left was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on July 30, 2015. NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

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