I can dig trenches too!!

Opportunity, you are not the only one who can dig trenches. I did it too! It was harder where I am too. It took me 11 passes with my wheel, and I still couldn't get the hole as deep as yours. They tell me the dirt is stickier here. Some say that may mean the presence of water. Hmmm...maybe there is a pond in that there crater. I know one rover who may be going for a swim!

nice job spirit, except it looks as if you had a harder time of it. you left a couple of piles in the trench. perhaps you ran into some caliche.

And the so the competitive nature of the rovers emerge. I hope you rovers don't start doing silly Battle Bot type attacks.

How exactly did Spirit make this treach? I do not watch TV so this may be an obvious question. However, I went to the NASA Web page and they did not offer an explination other that what could be gleened from the photo above.

Quoted from Blog:
"February 15, 2004

.....I get to spin one of my six wheels to dig a hole......

posted by Opportunity at 09:42 PM EDT"

As stated there I believe they are using atleast one of the wheels to dig. Pretty nifty! I also see the marks of the tred from their wheel in the hole and around the edges, so it is conceiveable from the pictures that is another way to tell its their wheel doing the dirty work. If your looking for a further in-depth explaination of how exactly how they are using their wheels to dig, I am not sure. Just stating this incase you missed it on the blog. Hope its somewhat helpful!

Keep it up, Mars Rovers... I find your journal entries very interesting :lol:

:lol: YOU Go Spirit! I am enjoying the informationa and pictures you and your brother are sending us. Keep up the good work.

Most of the recent MI images form Spirit's trench are OOF (out of focus), but here is a recent one with a couple of interesting features:
Look in the upper right for a "worm" like item and lower center for a small, really strange artifact.

Re: digging

The way digging is done is by spinning one of the front wheels while keeping the other five in place. It's designed so that the rover does not move at all while only that one wheel is spinning, so that one wheel slowly grinds a hole into the ground.

I'm not sure how exactly they designed it so that the rover stays so still while having a wheel spinnign on the ground, but it works.

Bright soil...guess:micro-thin layer of ice. The top soil sits over a layer of "mud", though water % might be low for the mud we're used to.

Yes, The sol 50 MI trench area was very interesting.

It's too bad that more than 3 images were not taken of this area. ( Perhaps they were?)The image clearly shows the "Mars Mat" soil structures everywhere in the image.

I would have LOVED a stereo pair of this area!

This image is too weird for words! But I'll try.

I was fiddling around with the seemingly totally out of focus images from the Spirit trench when I noticed that the images were focused along the very top of the soil.

Furthermore there was a slight vertical offset between two images that should result in a stereo image.

I also saw that one of the little 1 mm dimpled gray guys (LDGG) was on the surface. I have noticed that there are at lease two populations of
spherules -- but only the dimpled little gray guys (DLGG) are at both sites. And that was interesting all by itself.

There are some interesting details visible on the LDGG -- again, as in other very sharp images of them, the surface seems to be composed of the little doughnut guys arranged in circles ( naturally!)

As I scanned the surface edge-on ( rotated 90 degrees for the stereo effect ) I was also astounded to see half way down the picture a "Mars-mat" of "whatever-this-stuff-is" in almost cross section with a forest of the little black rods sticking UP from the mat!!!

I had noted in several previous disturbed soil pictures a hint of "something" projecting upwards after a disturbance near a mat -- and there they are in cross section!

Did NASA take these pictures deliberately?

Do at least some of the geologists think the "whatever-this-stuff-us" is worth investigating and took this informative worm's eye view of disturbed soil?


I looked at the Spirit trench images again and found a pre/post mossbauer press that shows the same area as the above (reply 11).

It is guaranteed to wreck your eyes! The focus is "complementary" ( one far, one near) in the L/R pairs, there is a rotation and mass movements from the mossbauer press.

But if you are patient, allowing the brain to use one eye for detail and both for distance information, turning your head to compensate for local and camera rotation, you will see an amazingly complex scene. I am sure many papers could be written about this one image!

In this view, some of the vertical "rods" protruding from the "Mars mat" seem to be curled up like "fiddleheads".

I an sure NASA has a much better view of this area.


Amazing Mr. Lipford!

I see those black perturbances you point out. Mid-way and about 4/5's down of the left side picture part in focus.

We can make wild guesses.
1. Crystalization?
2. clusters of Pele hair snapped off?
3. microbial life?

how long can any of the above survive intact like pictured?

Are these fibers (if they are fibers?) part of the cohesiveness of the surface soil of the trenches as already pointed out?

In case you missed it, this is the stereo image that surprised me with what appears as vertical movement between
two images taken about 2 minutes apart after a mossbauer press.

Can you see it?

This is a stereo pair of 2M127523552EFF0309P2930M2M1.jpg and 2M127691384EFF0309P2930M2M1.jpg .

The images were taken almost two days apart. The images were cropped for shadow and corrected for brightness and contrast.

After puzzling about the meaning of the vertical rods in the Spirit WTSI mats, I revisited another long standing puzzle:
The results of the first Mossbauer soil press. It was a great surprise that the 4 oz exerted on the soil didn't seem to do anything. The released pre/post animation of the area -- after slowing it down so the actual movements could be seen --
was also very puzzling: MOST of the movements seemed like small rotations -- not displacements or complete disappearance.

I finally examined the post and pre images as a stereo pair ( see above ) and was astounded to see 90% of the "movements" made perfect sense as a stereo perspective of vertical features rising fractions of a mm over the soil! There was only ONE large feature that looked like it was "under" the soil.

The puzzling "rotations" seem to be are vertical features seen in the slightly altered geometry of the post image!

There are several "vertical features" that seem to have distinct shadows -- especiall near their base; The "vertical features" seem to project from the center of "doughnut guys" -- complete with stalks on some of the larger ones.

And finally, a speculation:

What the mossbauer plate came into contact with was NOT the surface, but rather multiple
"vertical guys". As they are mechanically connected to the "Mars mat", the force of the press was transmitted through the larger vertical guys to the mat, leaving the surface untouched.
A number of the "tall guys" seem to have distorted ends -- maybe fractured by the press?



That looked familiar, so I dug back in the NASA archives. See: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040116a.html, specifically http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040116a/misol003_15ana_new-A13R1.jpg, which is a red-blue stereo anaglyph of that patch of soil.

OK, here is another worm's eye view of the Spirit trench. This one clearly shows several pedistal bases of the "vertical guys".

There is one of the vertical guys sticking out of its base tipped on its side by the digging.It is at the very, very, bottom
of the right hand side of the image. It's best seen at 200%

As a general rule I stop looking at 200% -- but the feature MUST be in more than one image -- preferably a stereo pair.

This feature is at the edge of my detection rules.

Techical note: The images are rotated right and the left image was expanded to 1064x1064 pixels to compensate to the "zooming"
effect between the two exposures. I didn't crop the images because the features of interest are so close to the edges of the images.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Hey your site sucks. I could make better trenches in my sleep

Poo on a shoe that smelt like you

love always Jonny :twisted: :twisted: