Curiosity rover finds a lot more proof of historical watery areas on Mars

What just occurred? NASA has shared illustrations or photos recently captured by Curiosity as the rover travels from a clay-loaded area on Mars to a person principally comprised of a salty mineral acknowledged as sulfate. The area agency chose these two regions in hopes of learning extra about the planet’s watery past but as it turns out, the changeover area between them is proving to be fairly enlightening.

The photograph higher than is a mosaic comprised of 6 images captured by Curiosity’s mast camera on June 2, 2022. It is thought that the flaky rock layers depicted in the picture formed in an historical pond or streambed.

Curiosity has been generating its way up the foothills of a 3-mile-higher mountain known as Mount Sharp since 2014. At the base is the clay-loaded region, which probably was at the time home to flowing streams and lakes. Higher up in the transition zone, observations suggest the streams dissipated into trickles. Finally, sand dunes formed earlier mentioned the lake sediments.

“We no more time see the lake deposits that we observed for yrs reduce on Mount Sharp,” stated Ashwin Vasavada, a Curiosity task scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Instead, we see plenty of proof of drier climates, like dry dunes that at times had streams jogging close to them. Which is a significant transform from the lakes that persisted for most likely hundreds of thousands of years before.”

NASA explained the rover will shortly drill its ultimate sample in the transition region to get a much better seem at the shifting mineral composition of the rocks.

Curiosity touched down on Mars way back again in August 2012 and has been studying the Red Planet’s climate and geology at any time considering the fact that. Unsurprisingly, the rover is starting off to exhibit indicators of dress in right after approximately a ten years of operation. One of its aluminum wheels has dropped quite a few of its treads, but that does not seem to be a key problem.

“We have established by way of ground screening that we can properly drive on the wheel rims if needed,” explained Megan Lin, Curiosity’s challenge manager at JPL.

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