The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) on Spirit has studied the mineralogy and thermophysical properties at Gusev crater. Undisturbed soil spectra show evidence for minor carbonates and bound water. Rocks are olivine-rich basalts with varying degrees of dust and other coatings. Dark-toned soils observed on disturbed surfaces may be derived from rocks and have derived mineralogy (??5 to 10%) of 45% pyroxene (20% Ca-rich pyroxene and 25% pigeonite), 40% sodic to intermediate plagioclase, and 15% olivine (forsterite 45% ??5 to 10). Two spectrally distinct coatings are observed on rocks, a possible indicator of the interaction of water, rock, and airfall dust. Diurnal temperature data indicate particle sizes from 40 to 80 ??m in hollows to ???0.5 to 3 mm in soils.
Additional Publication Details
Initial results from the Mini-TES experiment in Gusev crater from the Spirit rover