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Disturbed Soil Along the Path from 'Tyrone' (Close-Up)
Image shows a pair of rover tracks moving toward the viewer across a sandy.

This view shows tracks created by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit while traveling from the bright soil deposit seen in the upper right, informally named "Tyrone," to the vehicle's current location, dubbed "Winter Haven."

Spirit parked at "Winter Haven" on a small north-facing slope to maximize solar energy input during the Martian winter. This stayover presents an opportunity to do more intensive, long-term investigations of the rover's surroundings than are typically possible during warmer seasons when the vehicle spends more time driving from place to place. One of these activities is assessing the influence of wind by monitoring surface changes. Experience from the Viking Landers of the 1970s suggests that wind-related surface changes are more likely to occur in recently disturbed soil.

Shortly after arriving at Winter Haven, Spirit obtained this high-resolution view of disturbed soil for comparison with future images to help reveal any wind-related surface changes. The view is a mosaic of images of the rover's tracks, obtained through the 750-nanomater filter in the left eye of Spirit's panoramic camera on the rover's 835th Martian day, or sol (May 9, 2006).

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

+ High resolution JPEG