28 June 2019

Sol 2450: "Badcall" or a good call?

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Curiosity is parked in front of a ridge-forming outcrop known as ‘Harlaw’ in the Glen Torridon region, and the team had some fun with naming targets today. While planning contact science to investigate a rough, potentially nodular face of the outcrop, the Geology group decided to use the name ‘Badcall,’ which definitely raised some eyebrows during the planning process. The target is actually named after Badcall Bay on Earth, which exposes some of the oldest rocks in Western Europe. So hopefully this observation turns out well!

I was the SOWG Chair today, and it was a late slide sol, which means we started our day 3.5 hours later than normal in order to get some data downlinked in time for planning. The focus of this plan is to investigate the grain size, stratification, and composition of the ridge-forming outcrop shown in the above Navcam image. The plan starts with a Mastcam mosaic to investigate stratification in the slope ahead of us, followed by ChemCam on the targets ‘Tayside,’ ‘Badcall,’ and ‘Buckie.’ The plan also includes some environmental monitoring observations to characterize the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Late in the afternoon we’ll use the DRT to remove dust from the ‘Buckie’ target before imaging it with MAHLI. We also planned MAHLI observations of ‘Badcall.’ Then we’ll use APXS to investigate the chemistry of both ‘Badcall’ and ‘Buckie’ in the evening and overnight. We’ll stay at this outcrop for part of the weekend plan, so we have a few more opportunities to characterize this area and how these structures might have formed.

Written by Lauren Edgar, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center