Panoramic Camera images at Gusev crater reveal a rock-strewn surface interspersed with high- to moderate-albedo fine-grained deposits occurring in part as drifts or in small circular swales or hollows. Optically thick coatings of fine-grained ferric iron-rich dust dominate most bright soil and rock surfaces. Spectra of some darker rock surfaces and rock regions exposed by brushing or grinding show near-infrared spectral signatures consistent with the presence of mafic silicates such as pyroxene or olivine. Atmospheric observations show a steady decline in dust opacity during the mission, and astronomical observations captured solar transits by the martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, as well as a view of Earth from the martian surface.
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