Curiosity is climbing. Within the Gale Crater it calls residence, the Mars rover has been making its method up an eroded pediment known as the Central Butte.

It is learning the weather-worn layers of rock across the base of Mount Sharp, which towers from the centre of the crater. But it surely’s not simply close-ups of rock that characteristic within the postcards Curiosity sends again to Earth.


In between staring on the floor, the rover additionally fixes its robotic eyes on the Martian horizon. The picture above was taken utilizing the rover’s Proper Navigation Digital camera B on November 1, or Sol 2573. It exhibits the view again in the direction of the crater’s edge.

Within the foreground, the butte gently slopes in the direction of the mountain. Within the distance, the rim of the Gale Crater – created in an enormous meteorite affect billions of years in the past – rises from the dusty haze.

The picture appears to drive residence the sheer isolation of Curiosity’s mission – after the unhappy shutdown of Alternative, Curiosity is now the one rover working on Mars (InSight is a stationary lander).

However the instrument has no time to be idle and ponder its lonely destiny.

central butte layersCentral Butte picture taken 1 November or Sol 2572. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Central Butte is deeply geologically attention-grabbing, with layers of sedimentary rock that maintain clues to the area’s water within the distant previous. Curiosity will likely be learning these sedimentary layers to attempt to gauge their extent.

Curiosity’s devices are additionally investigating rock variations within the area – there are some completely different colors within the rock that recommend a number of stratigraphic items. Information taken by Curiosity will assist to characterise these items, and the way they might be associated to one another.


The rover may also take photos of a area on the {top} of the butte – too tough for the rover to achieve, however properly inside imaging distance.

“In any case of those observations, Curiosity will begin driving across the butte to have a look at it from the opposite facet,” wrote planetary geologist Kristen Bennett of the USA Geological Survey on NASA’s Mars Exploration web site.

“We anticipate to proceed having superb views of Central Butte at our subsequent cease!”


Supply hyperlink

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)