Curiosity’s new Teal Ridge panorama shows off dusty Mars landscape

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 9, 2019

The Curiosity group is asking it "Strathdon"-a boulder-sized Martian rock comprised of dozens of sedimentary layers".

NASA's Curiosity rover has come a long way since touching down on Mars seven years ago. Water may be the lifeblood of our planet, but it's unclear whether Mars ever supported (or still supports) life. Its nuclear power system should last a few more years, so we can happily anticipate many more discoveries in the future. The rover is now exploring parts of the Gale Crater in a spot known as the "clay-bearing unit", where it is using its drills to gather samples of the Martian soil where water once flowed. But Curiosity has detected similarly high amounts of clay on other parts of Mount Sharp, including in areas where MRO didn't detect clay.

Rock samples that the rover has drilled here have revealed the highest amounts of clay minerals found during the mission. That's led scientists to wonder what is causing the findings from orbit and the surface to differ.

Recently, the NASA rover got here throughout a big rock comprised of dozens of sedimentary layers.

"We're seeing an evolution in the ancient lake environment recorded in these rocks", said Caltech's Valerie Fox, a co-lead investigator for Curiosity's clay-unit campaign, in a NASA press release. NASA's Curiosity Mars rover took these images using its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, on July 9, 2019, the 2,461st Martian sol, or day, of the mission. "It was not just a static lake". NASA adjusted the image to show how the rock and sand would appear under normal daylight conditions on Earth. It is helping us move from a simplistic view of Mars going from wet to dry.

A few weeks earlier, while Curiosity was exploring a region within the clay-bearing unit, the rover stopped to take a 360-degree panorama as it stood next to a rocky outcrop named Teal Ridge. "As a substitute of a linear process, the history of water was more complicated".

In June, the Curiosity rover left a region on Mars that NASA calls the 'pebble parking lot, ' one that is - as the name suggests - covered in small pebbles.

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