Monday, September 18, 2023

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Reaches Gediz Vallis Ridge: 360-degree view | JPL

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Reaches Gediz Vallis Ridge: 360-degree view | JPL

Drag your mouse to look around within this 360-degree panorama captured by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. See the steep slopes, layered buttes, and dark rocks surrounding Curiosity while it was parked below Gediz Vallis Ridge, which formed as a result of violent debris flows that were later eroded by wind into a towering formation. This happened about 3 billion years ago, during one of the last wet periods seen on this part of the Red Planet.

On Aug. 19, 2023, Curiosity’s Mastcam took 136 images that were stitched together into this mosaic after being sent back to Earth. The color has been adjusted to match lighting conditions as the human eye would see them on Earth. 

Gediz Vallis Ridge was one of the last features to form on the 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) Mount Sharp, which Curiosity has been ascending since 2014. Dark rocks studding the landscape in this panorama were likely carried down from higher up on Mount Sharp, where Curiosity will never venture. Studying these rocks on the ridge allows scientists a rare look at material from the upper part of the mountain.

Arriving after one of the most difficult climbs the mission has ever faced, Curiosity spent 11 days at the ridge. It then departed to ascend higher up the mountain, where the rover will investigate Gediz Vallis Channel, through which water flowed some 3 billion years ago, carrying the rocks and debris that piled up to begin forming the ridge.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/UC Berkeley

Duration: 1 minute, 24 seconds

Release Date: Sept. 18, 2023

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