The Curiosity rover has sent back some beautiful new images of the foothills of Mount Sharp in Gale Crater on Mars. The image above is a panorama of the breathtaking view, thanks to processing by Thomas Appéré, who is an Associate Scientist at IPAG (l’Institut de Planétologie et d’ Astrophysique de Grenoble) in Grenoble, France. The rover is still making its way closer to these foothills at the base of the much taller mountain. The mesas and canyons are very reminiscent of the scenery in the American Southwest.
Curiosity has confirmed that Gale Crater used to contain a lake or series of lakes a few billion years ago, and fast-moving streams once emptied into the lake through the crater rim. Whether any life existed is still unknown, but this region was once a lot more habitable than it is today.
Larger high-resolution versions of the panorama with incredible detail, and many more images, are available on Flickr here.
Bottom line: Beautiful new images of the foothills of Mount Sharp in Gale crater on Mars, from the Curiosity rover.
Paul Scott Anderson has had a passion for space exploration that began when he was a child when he watched Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. While in school he was known for his passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which was a chronicle of planetary exploration. In 2015, the blog was renamed as Planetaria. While interested in all aspects of space exploration, his primary passion is planetary science. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now currently writes for AmericaSpace and Futurism (part of Vocal). He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, and has also been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.