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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
This image shows Rocks explored by the Rover.
Click on image for full size
Image from: JPL/NASA

Possible Origins of Rocks explored by the Rover

Unlike Earth where rivers can carry material for hundreds of miles, Martian rivers, which seem to be not very long at all, cannot transport material very long distances. The farthest a river may be able to carry a rock may be only 10's of kilometers.

Because many of the rocks seem to be chemically similar; breccias, lava flows, and ridge plain material, some scientists are presently guessing that this material may underly the site, and that the boulders may have been eroded from an outcropping 30 km away composed of andesite or basaltic andesite volcanics.

On the other hand, some of the weathering features found on the rocks may be signs that some of the rock originated as ejecta from the Big Crater located 2.2 km to the south of the landing site.


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