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Coronation Rock
"Coronation" rock on Mars - first target of the ChemCam laser analyzer on the Curiosity rover (August 17, 2012).
Feature type Rock
Coordinates 4°35′S 137°26′E / 4.59°S 137.44°E / -4.59; 137.44Coordinates: 4°35′S 137°26′E / 4.59°S 137.44°E / -4.59; 137.44

N165 ("Coronation" rock) is a rock on the surface of Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on the planet Mars near the landing site ("Bradbury Landing") of the Curiosity rover.[1][2] The "approximate" site coordinates are: 4°35′S 137°26′E / 4.59°S 137.44°E / -4.59; 137.44. On August 19, 2012, the rock was the first target of the rover's laser instrument, ChemCam,[1] which can analyze targets at a distance using a laser and spectrometer.[1] A Twitter feed for the rock was created, featuring an anthropomorphized account of its experiences.[3] Its posts include a humor themed mix of social interaction and Mars content such as "Did you know I was born in a volcano? Basalts like me come from lava. That's why we call it Olympus Mom".[3][4]

The goal of this initial use of the laser on Mars was to serve as target practice for characterizing the instrument. The rock was primarily selected for its proximity to the rover, rather than any intrinsic scientific value. The rock was lasered thirty times over ten seconds.[2] The mission's investigators thought the rock was a basalt prior to lasing, which was confirmed by preliminary results.[5][6] The ChemCam team reported positive results; they worked on the instrument for eight years before getting to use it on Mars.[2]


Panorama of rocks near the Curiosity rover - near Bradbury Landing (August 9, 2012).

See also


  1. ^ a b c Christina DesMarais - Mars Rock-Zapping Laser Explained - PC World
  2. ^ a b c Webster, Guy; Agle, D.C. (August 19, 2012). "Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Mission Status Report". NASA. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Lauren Davis - Read the increasingly desperate tweets of Martian rock .. - IO9
  4. ^ Twitter - N165 aka Coronation
  5. ^ Amos, Jonathan (August 17, 2012). "Nasa's Curiosity rover prepares to zap Martian rocks". BBC News. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  6. ^ NASA - Coronation's Chemicals

External links

  • Curiosity Rover - Official Site
  • NASA - Mars Exploration Program
  • NASA - N165 - After the Laser Shots
  • NASA - N165 - Rover Zaps Rock
  • Twitter - N165 ("Coronation" rock)
  • Volcanic rock classification
Notable rocks on Mars
Block Island.jpg
58606main image feature 167 jwfull.jpg
El Capitan sol27 pancam.jpg
Barnacle Bill
Bathurst Inlet
Big Joe
Block Island
(Opportunity) M
El Capitan
PIA07269-Mars Rover Opportunity-Iron Meteorite.jpg
PIA09089-RA3-hirise-closeup annotated.png
PIA17062-MarsCuriosityRover-HottahRockOutcrop-20120915.jpg PIA16192-MarsCuriosityRover-Target-JakeRock-20120927.jpg
PIA05482 modest.jpg
NASA Curiosity rover - Link to a Watery Past (692149main Williams-2pia16188-43).jpg
Heat Shield
(Opportunity) M
Home Plate
Jake Matijevic
Last Chance
Mackinac Island.jpg
Mars rock Mimi by Spirit rover.jpg
PIA13418 - Oileán Ruaidh meteorite on Mars (false colour).jpg
Pot of gold upclose.jpg
Mackinac Island
(Opportunity) M
Oileán Ruaidh
(Opportunity) M
Pot of Gold
Rocknest 3
Shelter Island
(Opportunity) M
The table above contains clickable links M = Meteorite - ()
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