Skip to main content Skip to main content

Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum

Processes of Science: Mars, a Case Study #6021 Whitewater Lake Rock Viewed by Opportunity


Date: September 6, 2012
Location: Mars
Photographer: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ Cornell Univ./Arizona State University


A rind that appears bluish in this false-color view covers portions of the surface of a rock called “Whitewater Lake” in the top half of the view from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. This rind is similar in appearance to weathering rinds previously seen by Opportunity on rocks elsewhere within the Meridiani Planum region.

Whitewater Lake is in the Matijevic Hill portion of the Cape York segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. The view is presented in false color, which enhances color differences among various geological materials in the scene.

Whitewater Lake is the large flat rock in the top half of the image. From left to right it is about 30 inches (0.8 meter) across. The dark blue nubby rock to the lower left is Kirkwood, which bears non-hematite spherules. The rocks to the lower right look like breccias: a type of rock containing jumbled fragments cemented together. They resemble other rocks in the area classed as the Shoemaker formation, which is hypothesized to hold deposits of material ejected when an impact excavated Endeavour Crater billions of years ago.


Photos downloaded from the Essential Lens site are cleared for educational use only.

Series Directory

Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum


Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. © 2015
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-905-6