This newly released false-color image demonstrates how use of special filters available on the Curiosity Mars rover’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) can reveal the presence of certain minerals in target rocks.
The image is a composite of images taken through three filters chosen for making hematite, an iron-oxide mineral, stand out as exaggerated purple. The target rock, called “Christmas Cove,” did not appear to contain much hematite. Curiosity’s wire-bristled brush, the Dust Removal Tool, scrubbed the rock brushed area about is about 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) across. On September 17, 2017, the mission’s Sol 1819, observations led to the discovery of showed a strong hematite presence that had was subdued beneath the dust.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS