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Curiosity Rover Sends Images of Mars Rock Formations

Image: Curiosity Rover Sends Images of Mars Rock Formations

This view from the Mast Camera in NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows an outcrop with finely layered rocks within the 'Murray Buttes' region on lower Mount Sharp. The image was taken on Sept. 8.

By    |   Monday, 12 Sep 2016 10:59 AM

The Curiosity Mars Rover has sent back eye-catching images of Mars’ rock formations, which were taken Thursday in the “Murray Buttes” region of lower Mount Sharp and released by NASA.

Mount Sharp is an 18,000-foot mountain where the Rover has been based since 2014. NASA thinks the images will “help increase understanding of the red planet’s landscape,” Sky News noted.

The images show “eroded remnants of ancient sandstone that originated when winds deposited sand after lower Mount Sharp had formed,” NASA said in a news release.

Curiosity project scientist Ashwin Vasavada said in the statement that looking at the buttes “has given us a better understanding of ancient sand dunes that formed and were buried, chemically changed by groundwater, exhumed and eroded to form the landscape that we see today.”

Vasavada added that the NASA team “has been thrilled to go on this road trip through a bit of the American desert Southwest on Mars.”

Curiosity is exploring how and when habitable conditions on Mars were once present as well as how and when these conditions evolved becoming “drier conditions less favorable for life on the planet,” Sky News noted.

The space vehicle has been traveling through lower Mount Sharp for about 30 days and is now moving toward the southern front of the mountain, I4U News reported.

The Curiosity Rover landed near Mount Sharp four years ago and within two years it reached the base of the structure.

“Before this foray, it had already found evidence that microbes could have once dwelt among the extinct lakes once so common on the Martian surface,” I4U News noted.

The Curiosity team plans to create several mosaics to display the new images of the “finely layered rocks” on Mars, Sky News noted.

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The Curiosity Mars Rover has sent back eye-catching images of Mars' rock formations. NASA released these new images, which were taken Thursday in the "Murray Buttes" region of lower Mount Sharp.
rover, images, mars, rock
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2016-59-12
Monday, 12 Sep 2016 10:59 AM
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