More Marsian geology..

On the subject of the rock “Adirondack”…

When the first full colour images came in I saw that the rocks were grey-green, have little bubble holes (the name of which I can’t remember how to spell is pronounced vee-ci-cles), are fine grained and break with sharp, angular edges. I thought, “Hmm.. that looks like basalt, probably olivine rich.” It’s the rock formed by the cooling of lava which comes out of mid-ocean ridges and places such as Iceland and Hawaii. Or, if you’re hard up, there’s some of the stuff eroded out in the north of Scotland. Smash up a pillow lava and have a look.. it’ll look just like the rock on Mars.

Well, ‘s the analysis from the Spirit rover.

Somehow, instead of sending all sorts of expensive instruments with the rovers they should just have given it a hand lens and a nice hammer. It would have saved JPL millions of dollars!

Actually, they could have saved rather more by putting one rover in the dunes at Dawlish Warren and the other on the lava fields of Hawaii.

Hmm.. geology or marsiology?

Anyway, whatever it is, it looks like the crater that Opportunity is in was excavated from sedimentry rock.

In this image, at the far right end there’s a block of the rock on show which looks like it has cross bedding. Such things don’t happen in igneous rocks, only sedimentry ones. Now, this doesn’t mean that there is water on Mars. Cross bedding can be created in sediments which are sub-aerial, sand dunes, but they can also be generated in sub-aqueous environments, namely flowing water, sediment ripples.

From the size of the bedding planes in this bedding it looks more like sub-aerial sand dune type deposits such as can be seen in the cliffs around Dawlish Warren.

Nothing to see here. Move along.. Move along..

OK, the title’s not strictly true. Some things have happened over the last fortnight since I last updated this journal.

For a start, I’ve been out on the town once. I learnt a couple of friends at work are getting married at the end of March and I’ve been invited along to the stag day at the beginning of March. Another friend has swapped boyfriends, dumping one technically the day after linking up with the other.

At work I’ve been wrestling with RAID arrays. One decided that it didn’t like the data on the disks and initialised them. Don’t believe the “Reliable” bit in the advertising for “Reliable Array of Inexpensive Disks.”

For the last couple of days I’ve been fighting off a cold. It’s been expressing itself as a slightly sore throat. I’ve been dosing myself up with Lemsip Max Strength, orange juice and Strepsils Extra. The sore throat seems to have eased and the slight attack at the back of the nose seems to have gone away as well. So the first battle seems to have been won. Whether the war is won is still to be seen.

On other fronts, today I managed to finish putting down limestone chippings around my house. I’ve still to put some weedkiller on the whole stuff as the cooch grass has punched its way straight through the anti-weed membrane. I’ve also got a second 6′ post which I can bolt to the current one which will allow me to move the gate hinges away from the wall which should then enable the gate to swing right out to be flat to the wall when opened.

I’ve also written a script which will take the output from net-snmpd’s snmptrapd generated by my router/firewall and send a log to syslog on my server whenever a connection is made inbound or outbound. The only problem is that the linksys router doesn’t say if it’s tcp or udp.

That’s about it, really.

Well, I’m back.

Yes, I’ve returned from the wilds of Cornwall and I have yet another sinus headache. This time it’s in the right nostril. The one a few days ago was in the left one. They do seem to alternate.

Anyway, the journey home wasn’t too eventful. The roads weren’t that busy but there was sporadic fog which made things a little bit interesting. The total time, including a 15 minutes stop was 4 hours 37 minutes.

I merely have to finish the unpacking tonight.