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Zooming in on the Martian Soil
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Three zoomed-in portions are shown with an image of Martian soil particles taken by the Optical Microscope on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

The left zoom box shows a composite particle. The top of the particle has a green tinge, possibly indicating olivine. The bottom of the particle has been reimaged at a different focus position in black and white (middle zoom box), showing that this is a clump of finer particles.

The right zoom box shows a rounded, glassy particle, similar to those which have also been seen in an earlier sample of airfall dust collected on a surface exposed during landing.

The shadows at the bottom of image are of the beams of the Atomic Force Microscope.

The microscope took this image during Phoenix's Sol 17 (June 11, 2008), or the 17th Martian day after landing. The scale bar is 1 millimeter (0.04 inch).

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Imperial College London

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