Curiosity’s new Teal Ridge panorama shows off dusty Mars landscape

Brittany A. Roston - Aug 8, 2019, 7:01 pm CDT
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Curiosity’s new Teal Ridge panorama shows off dusty Mars landscape

NASA’s Curiosity rover, the machine that landed on Mars seven years ago, has sent back to Earth a series of images compiled into a bright high-resolution panorama. Prominently featured in the 360-degree image, which NASA recently shared as an interactive video, is the Red Planet’s Teal Ridge surrounded by the dusty, barren Mars landscape.

In June, the Curiosity rover left a region on Mars that NASA calls the ‘pebble parking lot,’ one that is — as the name suggests — covered in small pebbles. Beyond that area, the space agency says Curiosity started finding geologic features that grew in complexity, one of which was an outcropping dubbed “Teal Ridge.” Curiosity paused to capture a 360-degree panorama of this area and NASA has published it as the video below.

Following the rover’s panorama session, NASA says Curiosity was able to take close up images of a rock called “Strathdon” that is made from many layers of sediment forming hard, brittle, wavy rows (below). NASA speculates that the ‘wavy’ nature of these layers hint at a ‘dynamic’ environment, one that may have involved flowing water or wind (or a combination of both).

NASA describes this as a new discovery that is helping shed light on the ancient environment that formed this region of Mars. The complex geography is a type of puzzle piece hinting at the larger reality of the Red Planet’s history, though the scientists have a lot to learn about Mars.

Co-lead for Curiosity’s clay-unit campaign Valerie Fox explained:

Following the rover’s panorama session, NASA says Curiosity was able to take close up images of a rock called “Strathdon” that is made from many layers of sediment forming hard, brittle, wavy rows (below). NASA speculates that the ‘wavy’ nature of these layers hint at a ‘dynamic’ environment, one that may have involved flowing water or wind (or a combination of both).


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