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EarthSky // Science Wire, Space Release Date: Mar 03, 2014

A dramatic vista on Mars

The Mars Curiosity rover is making its way toward the base of Mount Sharp, which is the central peak in the martian Gale Crater.

Forward view of Mars Curiosity rover on February 19, 2014 - Sol 548 - or 548th day of the rover's work on Mars.   Image via NASA.

Forward view of Mars Curiosity rover on February 19, 2014 – Sol 548 – or 548th day of the rover’s work on Mars. Image via NASA.

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover captured these rows of rocks in the foreground and Mount Sharp on the horizon on February 19, 2014. It was the 548th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars. The base of Mount Sharp is the rover’s ultimate goal.

Images taken from orbit and used in planning the rover’s route toward lower slopes of Mount Sharp had piqued researchers interest in the striations on the ground that are formed by these rows of rocks. This particular outcrop is called “Junda.” Similar striations are apparent on other patches of ground along the planned route.

The view is centered toward south-southeast and spans about 160 degrees. It is presented as a cylindrical projection. A stereo view of the scene is available here.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on its mast for this look back after finishing a drive of 328 feet (100 meters) on the 548th Martian day, or sol,

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on its mast for this look back after finishing a drive of 328 feet (100 meters) on the 548th martian day, or sol. Image via NASA.

Bottom line: The Mars Curiosity rover is making its way toward the base of Mount Sharp, which is the central peak in the martian Gale Crater. This view is from February 19, 2014 – Sol 548 – or the 548th day of the rover’s work on Mars.

Via NASA