Sols 4188-4190: Aurora Watch on Mars | Space

Contact science on “Tuolumne Meadows” and “Parker Lakes” on sol 4187 completed successfully. The included picture is a MAHLI image of “Parker Lakes” taken on Sol 4187, which shows abundant bedrock nodules, some perched on tiny stalks like a miniature version of the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park. Unfortunately, the drive on sol 4187 faulted after 10 m due to a steer stall on the right rear wheel, and the resulting wheel placement was too uncertain to support contact science.

Our current plan skips sol 4188, as Earth passes are too low on the horizon for Curiosity to successfully receive commands for that sol.

On Sol 4189,  Curiosity will observe the layered bedrock target “Polemonium Pass” with ChemCam LIBS and Mastcam, as well as more distant white rocks around “Falls Ridge” with ChemCam RMI and Mastcam.

The first target is named for a 11,600 ft pass near the northern border of Yosemite National Park. The word “Polemonium” refers to Polemonium eximium, the skypilot or showy sky pilot alpine flower only found above 10000 feet in the Sierra Nevada.

The target name “Falls Ridge” honors a towering ridge-line of granite domes forming the southern wall of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. All targets in this area of Mount Sharp are named after the Bishop geological quadrangle in the High Sierra and Owens Valley of Calfornia. Mastcam…


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