Space Photos of the Week: The Curiosity Rover is One Salty Dog – WIRED

Space Photos of the Week: The Curiosity Rover is One Salty Dog - WIRED thumbnail

NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on Mars in August 2012, and it’s been cruising around, taking pictures lasers at rocks, drilling into the flooring, and performing science experiments ever since. Appropriate last week, records came out that Curiosity had came for the duration of one thing salty. The rover is riding for the duration of Gale Crater, an venerable Martian lake bed that became as soon as full of water, and has came for the duration of sulfate salts.

Scientists heart of attention on this is seemingly which ability that of a extremely dry interval when water evaporated, leaving the salts within the back of. Our receive Earth stays wet because we bask in an ambiance and a magnetic field, which keeps our planet watery and healthy so we can conveniently continue to exist. However the story for Mars is moderately more advanced. Billions of years within the past, Mars had an ambiance however it absolutely’s continually had a slightly miniature magnetic field, so the describe voltaic winds from the Solar stripped the ambiance away over time—leaving it the dry, arid planet we bask in grown to take care of.

This week we’re going to rove around on Mars alongside the ideal, baddest, robot on the crimson planet.

NASA tends to name the rocks that Curiosity finds alongside its plod. Now meet “Extinct Soaker.” This slab is 3 toes long and has positively considered some things for the duration of the last 3.5 billion years. The crackling conclude is which ability that of puddles pooling over this rock and drying out, and pooling again and drying out—a process that repeated itself for aeons, forsaking this textured behold.Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This neighborhood of rocks is called Squid Cove, and take care of Extinct Soaker, it has considered a form of wet and dry spells. Most of what has created these formations is sediment building up over billions of years, and Martian geologists stare to infer the water evaporation cycle from the patterns and offers they behold. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a workhorse satellite tv for pc that has taken seemingly the most most pleasing photos of Mars ever. These rolling blue hills and dunes are the flooring of Gale Crater. In these HiRise digicam photography, the blue represents the form of self-discipline cloth on the flooring, which on this case could seemingly seemingly well be extremely honest sand. These untrue colors are created by the HiRise digicam processing—dark could seemingly seemingly level to salty water, as an illustration.Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/College of Arizona

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