'Lanikai' Under the Microscope

This three-centimeter by three-centimeter (1.2-inch by 1.2-inch) microscopic image of the soil survey target informally called "Lanikai" was taken on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's 52nd sol, or day, on Mars. Named after Hawaii's white sand beaches, this target reveals irregularly shaped, light-colored, millimeter-sized (0.04 inch) clasts, or particles, in a fine-grained soil. Lanikai's angular, less-rounded clast shapes interested the science team when compared to other soil targets in the crater area examined by the microscopic imager.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/US GS