As it continues to make its way to Mount Sharp, the Curiosity rover has been sending back to Earth some amazing images of the Martian surface. This latest “postcard” panoramic image by Damia Bouic is a montage of some of these latest photos, from sol 409. Part of the rim of Gale crater can be seen in the distance. Larger versions of the image (black & white and colour) can be seen here (French website). Thanks again to Damia for the use of her images, which beautifully capture the Martian scenery; the next best thing to actually being there! The rest of his Curiosity images can be seen here.
As the Curiosity rover currently inspects a rock outcrop called Cooperstown, this rock seems to be baring its teeth. Some interesting pointed protrusions can be seen near the middle and lower right of the image. Below is a closeup of one of these teeth-like protrusions. Fossilized Martian shark teeth? No, probably not, but they are an intriguing feature for sure.
As the Curiosity rover gets ever closer to its major destination of Mount Sharp, there is an interesting feature there which has become a priority target, one which may help scientists to further study the past habitability of this area, or even provide possible clues to life itself.
This is an interesting rock seen recently by the Curiosity rover on sol 402 (left navigation camera) while making its way toward Mount Sharp in Gale crater. A seat for the weary Martian traveller? 🙂
The Curiosity rover has successfully finished its first full year on Mars it was announced yesterday, with already some amazing discoveries and a ton of scientific data to show for it. Late in the evening on August 5, 2012 PT (August 6, 2012 ET), Curiosity descended to the ground via the most complex landing technique ever attempted on Mars, the skycrane. Many things could have gone wrong as the car-sized rover hung from the long tethers during the nail-biting descent, but happily it turned out to be a near-perfect landing.
Here is a beautiful new image from the Curiosity rover showing the setting sun in Gale crater, taken on sol 312. Nice!
Curiosity is now back at the intriguing Shaler rock outcrop, after having initially passed it during its first trip into Yellowknife Bay in Gale crater. Shaler consists largely of “stepped” flat rock slabs which stand out from the surrounding rocks and soil. It’s origin isn’t known yet, but may be connected to the fact that this area was once very wet, with flowing streams and possibly a lake, according to findings so far by the rover. Curiosity’s findings here should be interesting, and then the journey begins to the layered foothills, buttes and mesas of Mount Sharp!
As Curiosity starts moving towards Mount Sharp again, a few more of those odd “bubble” features have been seen. The most obvious ones are oval-shaped, with raised rims, and appear to be a bit larger than some others seen previously. Like the others though, they sort of look like frothy bubbles which have “popped” and then hardened. How they formed is still a mystery which hopefully Curiosity can shed some more light on.
Some nice new MAHLI and Mastcam images of the rock outcrop Point Lake, taken by Curiosity as it starts its long drive to Mount Sharp. Lots of interesting small holes and nodules. Click images for larger versions. Further analysis should determine whether these rocks are sedimentary or volcanic in origin. All Curiosity raw images are available here.
As announced a while ago, one of the most exciting discoveries by the Curiosity rover on Mars so far has been an apparent ancient streambed which once flowed right through the landing site. Now, additional examination of the evidence confirms that it is what it seemed to be – a very old, now long-dry, riverbed.