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NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Views Striated Ground
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Views Striated Ground
27 Feb 2014
(Source: NASA/JPL)

Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp/Pictured here is a landscape scene from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover which shows rock rows forming striations in the foreground, with Mount Sharp on the horizon.
A landscape scene from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows rock rows at "Junda" forming striations in the foreground, with Mount Sharp on the horizon. The component images were taken by the rover's Navigation Camera (Navcam), looking southward, during a pause in driving on Feb. 19. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has reached an area where orbital images had piqued researchers' interest in patches of ground with striations all oriented in a similar direction.

A close-up look at some of the striations from the rover's Navigation Camera gains extra drama by including Mount Sharp in the background. The lower slopes of that layered mountain are the mission's long-term science destination. The image is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA17947

The foreground rocks are in an outcrop called "Junda," which the rover passed during a drive of 328 feet (100 meters) on Feb. 19. It paused during the drive to take the component images of the scene, then finished the day's drive. A location still ahead, called "Kimberley," where researchers plan to suspend driving for a period of science investigations, also features ground with striations.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, built the rover and manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/. You can follow the mission on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity.

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Last Updated: 27 Feb 2014