The natural beauty of Mars

Mt Sharp, Mars

Mt Sharp, Mars taken by Curiosity, Aug. 27 2012

The Mars Curiosity rover took this photo of Mt. Sharp, Mars on Aug. 27. It’s the cover art for the journal Astrobiology, with a note by UC Davis geologist Dawn Sumner, who is working with the Curiosity science team.

You can clearly see layers of sedimentary rock exposed on the hillside. That means water was once here, and lots of it.

Sumner writes:

This image, shown on the cover, is a turning point for Mars exploration. This is not the Mars of Viking, Pathfinder, Opportunity, Spirit, or Phoenix. Mars is now visibly a planet with dramatic outcrops of sedimentary rock that record a complex geological history. It is a planet with landscapes as spectacular as Earth’s own national parks – places to go for their beauty alone. Mount Sharp is more beautiful than any of us imagined.

…the world has a new view of Mars – one of spectacular, inspiring beauty.

The original image can be found on the Mars Curiosity website here.



One response to “The natural beauty of Mars

  1. Fantastic view of the fluvial sedimentation at Mount Sharp on Martian surface. Strong evidence of flow of river on Mars. These sedimentary rocks must be dated in future to know the age of the sediments.

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