NASA’s Curiosity Rover has beamed back new images from Mars, showing off the rocky formations found in the Murray Buttes region of the red planet.
What screams ‘road trip’ more than an abundance of pictures? That’s precisely what Curiosity – NASA’s rover – has beamed back from its latest journey on Mars.
After entering ‘safe mode’ earlier this year in July, Curiosity has been placed back on duty and has been exploring the “Murray Buttes” region of Mount Sharp on the planet. As a result of its journey, the rover has been able to send back new colour photos of Mars’ landscape.
As NASA’s Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada describes, the rover’s images capture “(a) road trip through a bit of the American desert Southwest on Mars” – desolate canyons are visible that reflect an otherworldly version of what one might imagine the Sonoran desert to look like.
While the images might sate the curiosity (get it?) of you and I, they actually serve an important purpose. Vasavada cites that the pictures enable researchers to better study the history of Mars’ unforgiving landscape. “Studying these buttes up close has given us a better understanding of ancient sand dunes that formed and were buried, chemically changed by groundwater, exhumed and eroded to form the landscape that we see today”, Vasavada said.
Curiosity is set to continue its mission by heading higher up Mount Sharp, where NASA hopes to take additional photos and assemble captured images into mosaics by stitching multiple pictures together. With luck, we’ll be treated to more views of Mars soon.
What are your thoughts on the latest images we’ve received from Curiosity? What would you most like to see captured on Mars’ hellish landscape? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!