Tearin’ Up the Tracks

Spirit's Tracks in Martian Soil
Spirit's Tracks in Martian Soil

White silicate-rich soil has been exposed beneath a rusty-red top layer by Spirit’s tires in this photo, taken last month while the rover tried to find a navigable path in the soft Martian sands.

Silicate material like this hints at the presence of liquid water in the region’s past.

The color here is as it would be seen on Earth in our white daylight…were you looking at this scene in person you would see something a bit more orange-tinted from the sunlight passing through Mars’ dust-laden atmosphere.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech