'Bounce' Exposed

This approximate true-color image, acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's panoramic camera, features the hole ground by the rover's rock abrasion tool into "Bounce" rock. The rock measures approximately 35 centimeters (14 inches) long and 10 centimeters (4 inches) high. The depression measures 6.44 millimeters (0.25 inch) deep and about 4.5 centimeters (1.7 inches) across. The grinding procedure took place on the rover's 66th sol on Mars and lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. A combination of limited solar power, added safety measures and the rock's jagged texture led the rock abrasion tool team to set more aggressive grinding parameters to ensure that the end result was a full circle, suitable for a thorough read from the rover's spectrometers.

Bounce's outer ring consists of the cuttings from the rock, pushed out by the brushes on the grinding instrument. The small impressions filled with red dust on the outer ring were caused by the instrument's contact mechanism, which serves to stabilize it while grinding.

This image was created using the panoramic camera's blue, green and red filters.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell