It’s a lizard, a cat, … a whimsical Martian rock!
Curiosity Rover on Mars recently got a glimpse of the features of this cute little rock in the Gail Crater that Rover has been exploring since 2012. The height of the small textured arch is only about 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters), but its unique shape excited mission scientists.
“We continue to be dazzled by the textures we see, especially the centimeter-sized ridges and lumps that stick out of the bedrock,” said Abigail Freman, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. .. I wrote in a blog post About the function.
The textured arch is located at the foot of Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles (5.5 km) from the floor of the Gail Crater. According to Fraeman, Curiosity is investigating some interesting geology in the transition between clay-rich and sulphate-containing layers in mountain rocks. Since sulphate can be left behind by running water, exploring these sulphate-containing layers can reveal more about Mars’ moist past.
Curiosity was originally designed for a two-year mission on Mars, but SUV-sized robots have been puttering around the Gail Crater for nine years. Take a selfie photo Make scientific discoveries. Recently, scientists analyzing the data returned by curiosity have learned that the clays lined up in the Gale Crater are less stable than previously believed. Evidence of past microbial life in the area It may have been wiped off. However, the erased salt water may have supported new life underground, so scientists are still keen on finding fossils of Mars, if any.
Rover is now climbing Mt. Sharp further, stopping along the way, using a laser to vaporize small pieces of rock, and taking pictures with ChemCam, a device that measures the chemicals and minerals in those samples. Analyze the composition of the rock.
Originally published in Live Science..
Curiosity Rover finds a cute little rock “lizard” on Mars
Source link Curiosity Rover finds a cute little rock “lizard” on Mars