A brief stop…

It looks like Oppy is going to stop for a couple of sols and do some science on a small outcrop, which I think has been called “Valdivia” by the MER team. Front hazcam views show her positioning her robot arm science package just above the ground in preparation for making measurements of and studying one of the plates of lighter coloured rock here…

Here’s a colourised view of the ‘plate’ that I think is going toe studied for the next couple of sols or so…

Why is this unassuming looking little rock plate worth stopping for? Well, it might be because of those little scratchy markings on it. Geologists call those “vugs”, and they’re essentially little pits or fissures left behind when minerals have been removed by some kind of erosional process. (full description see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vug ) You can’t see them very clearly on that colour pic, but you can on this enhanced 3D version I’ve also made…

Don’t know if the plan is for Oppy to drill into this rock, or just take a good close look. The next set of pictures should tell us.

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