Listed below are just a few beautiful views of the Curiosity Rover’s present location, Mont Mercou in Gale Crater on Mars. This towering outcrop supplies an amazing have a look at layered sedimentary rock buildings. On Earth, it’s frequent to search out layered rock like those inside this cliff face, particularly the place there have been as soon as lakes. The pancake-like layers of sediment are compressed and cemented to kind a rock file of the planet’s historical past.
This coloration picture is from considered one of our favourite picture editors, Kevin Gill. He assembled 202 uncooked photos taken by MSL’s MastCam between sols 3057 and 3061. You can see Kevin’s full mosaic on Flickr.
Gale Crater was particularly chosen because the vacation spot for the Curiosity rover from roughly authentic 60 candidate websites, as a result of knowledge from orbiting spacecraft decided that Mount Sharp – the massive mountain in the midst of the crater – is created from dozens of layers of sedimentary rock, maybe constructed over thousands and thousands of years. These layers are telling the story of Mars’ geological and local weather historical past, and planetary geologists are having a area day with Mont Mercou.
And the cadre of picture modifying fans all over the world have been benefiting from this wonderful rock formation, too. We now have just some examples right here. Right here’s a surprising video created by Mattias Malmer, which provides you a digital stroll round Mont Mercou. Malmer constructed the video from photos taken by Curiosity on sol 3049.
Clouds have been exhibiting up in current Curiosity rover photos, too and Sean Doran put all of it collectively on this nice shot:
And Stuart Atkinson processed this jaw-dropping view:
What’s the bigger view of this space, you ask? Elisabetta Bonora has it coated:
And right here’s a close-up view of a few of these layers, processed once more by Kevin Gill.
“People minds don’t simply comprehend the huge eons of time that separate us from the locations we discover in house with robots like Curiosity,” wrote Scott Guzewich, Atmospheric Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Area Flight Middle, and a member of the Mars Curiosity rover science crew, in a blog post about the current activities of Curiosity. “Once we discover Mars, we’re roving over rocks that fashioned billions of years in the past and plenty of of which have been uncovered on the floor for no less than tens or a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of years. It’s a spot of time that we will perceive numerically, however there’s no method to have an innate really feel for the unbelievable ancientness of the planet and Gale Crater.”
We’ll fairly possible hear rather more about Mont Mercou within the days and weeks forward, as scientists start to course of the assorted findings right here from Curiosity’s science devices. You possibly can learn all the most recent mission updates from Curiosity here to search out out which devices are being employed, and discover all of the uncooked photos taken by the rover’s varied cameras here.