(CNN)NASA’s Curiosity rover has been acting as our detective on Mars this summer season and investigating an living once stuffed with streams and lakes on the red planet.
The rover landed on Mars seven years ago and since then, or no longer it’s despatched abet hundreds of images, roamed 13 miles and climbed 1,207 toes to its most original dwelling on the aspect of Mount Appealing. This feature is situated interior of Gale Crater, where streams and lakes could well perchance perchance once be stumbled on billions of years ago.
Gale Cater is a mountainous and dry long-established lake mattress with a 16,404-toes-grand mountain at its heart. Mount Appealing’s prime is taller than the rim of the crater.
Now, Curiosity is investigating the clay minerals left at the abet of after the water disappeared. It has drilled 22 samples of the ground.
“This living is among the reasons we came to Gale Crater,” said Kristen Bennett of the US Geological Gape. “We have been learning orbiter images of this living for 10 years, and we’re finally in a bunch apart to gain interaction a mediate about up end.”
Throughout its mission, Curiosity has encountered the most quantity of clay minerals on Mount Appealing. The minerals gain been first detected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter years earlier than Curiosity launched.
Now that Curiosity can habits investigations on the ground, or no longer it’s stumbled on more clay minerals, which is inflicting mission scientists to test why some gain been apparent to the Orbiter and others weren’t.
Over the summer season, Curiosity has passed by a “pebble automobile parking living” and studied other odd geologic points on Mars. Currently, the rover’s camera captured a panorama of the Teal Ridge outcrop and Strathdon, a rock made out of wavy sediment layers that could well perchance gain been sculpted by wind, water or both.
“We’re seeing an evolution within the long-established lake ambiance recorded in these rocks,” said Valerie Fox, co-lead for the clay marketing campaign at the California Institute of Abilities. “It wasn’t loyal a static lake. Or no longer it’s helping us pass from a simplistic scrutinize of Mars going from wet to dry. As a change of a linear direction of, the historical previous of water used to be more sophisticated.”