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Mars Curiosity's Southwest-Like Photos Have an Earthy Feel

Mars Curiosity's Southwest-Like Photos Have an Earthy Feel

Mars rover selfie. (NASA)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 August 2016 03:59 PM

Images of Mars captured by NASA's Curiosity rover look like the mesas and buttes of the American Southwest.

The 360-degree color panorama was compiled from dozens of component images taken Aug. 5, said NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Curiosity landed inside the planet's Gale Crater four years ago, and its Murray Buttes were named after California Institute of Technology planetary scientist Bruce Murray, a former Jet Propulsion Laboratory director, who died in 2013.

"A key goal is to learn how freshwater lake conditions, which would have been favorable for microbes billions of years ago if Mars has ever had life, evolved into harsher, arid conditions much less suited to supporting life," NASA said in the release.

The mesas and buttes of Mars are topped with rock that is resistant to wind erosion.

NASA shared the images on Twitter and YouTube.

 

 

Tech Times described Murray Buttes as "a series of mounds about 50 feet high and about 200 feet wide near the top." The images capture parts of the Murray Buttes, the Gale Crater rim and upper Mount Sharp.

Mount Sharp rises about 18,000 feet from the floor of the valley, The Huffington Post noted.

Also coinciding with Curiosity's four-year anniversary, NASA released a Mars Rover Game, inviting players to navigate an animated rover over hills and craters.

In July, the Curiosity rover discovered active sand dunes on the planet, marking the first time the geological feature has been examined anywhere other than Earth, Wired noted.

NASA's Journey to Mars program hopes to send people to the red planet in the 2030s.

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Images of Mars captured by NASA's Curiosity rover look like the mesas and buttes of the American Southwest.
mars, curiosity, southwest, photos
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2016-59-23
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 03:59 PM
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