What just transpired? NASA has shared pictures not too long ago captured by Curiosity as the rover travels from a clay-prosperous region on Mars to one mainly comprised of a salty mineral known as sulfate. The house company chose these two areas in hopes of learning much more about the planet’s watery previous but as it turns out, the changeover area among them is proving to be pretty enlightening.
The photo above is a mosaic comprised of 6 photographs captured by Curiosity’s mast digital camera on June 2, 2022. It is thought that the flaky rock levels depicted in the photograph formed in an historic pond or streambed.
Curiosity has been building its way up the foothills of a a few-mile-substantial mountain known as Mount Sharp since 2014. At the base is the clay-abundant place, which possible was at the time house to flowing streams and lakes. Greater up in the changeover zone, observations propose the streams dissipated into trickles. Ultimately, sand dunes fashioned earlier mentioned the lake sediments.
“We no longer see the lake deposits that we saw for several years decrease on Mount Sharp,” stated Ashwin Vasavada, a Curiosity project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “As a substitute, we see a lot of evidence of drier climates, like dry dunes that sometimes experienced streams jogging close to them. That is a massive modify from the lakes that persisted for most likely tens of millions of many years in advance of.”
NASA mentioned the rover will shortly drill its remaining sample in the transition region to get a far better glance at the shifting mineral composition of the rocks.
Curiosity touched down on Mars way again in August 2012 and has been studying the Red Planet’s local weather and geology at any time since. Unsurprisingly, the rover is commencing to demonstrate indicators of put on soon after practically a decade of procedure. A person of its aluminum wheels has dropped many of its treads, but that does not seem to be to be a key problem.
“We have demonstrated by ground tests that we can securely push on the wheel rims if essential,” stated Megan Lin, Curiosity’s job manager at JPL.