Δευτέρα, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2012

First results from ChemCam spectrometer


Roger Wiens, principal investigator for the ChemCam instrument, reported results from ChemCam’s first experiment. ChemCam shot it’s laser on a rock named Coronation.
It’s spectrometers recorded data on 6144 channels, ranging from ultraviolet to infrared light from 240 to 850 nanometers.
Here’s an image of this spectrum, sent back from Mars on August 19, 2012:
You can see emission lines from different elements, including oxygen, silicon and sodium as well as some minor elements like titanium and manganese.
The eye-catching carbon peak comes not from the rock itself, but from the atmosphere of Mars.
Another peak, indicating hydrogen, was only seen on the first laser shot. This most likely means this element was present only on the very surface of the rock.

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