Rocks on Mars come in all shapes and sizes. While recently exploring the red planet, NASA’s Curiosity rover found two particularly intriguing.
March is a planet filled with rocks of all shapes and sizes – and NASA’s Curiosity rover has just given an incredible new look to two of them. If there is one defining property of Mars, it is the rocky and dusty surface of the planet. Where the Earth is filled with lush pastures, dense forests and abundant water, is Mars complete various. It is a dangerously cold environment with little oxygen and endless rocks. As a destination for human life, it would require a lot of work to become habitable.
Fortunately, we do not have to send humans to Mars to get a closer look at the planet. NASA has several robots currently exploring Mars to learn as much about it as possible – including everything from rovers to a small helicopter. These robots are on the hunt for ancient life, exploring areas of interest to scientists back on Earth and more. Along with all this, they also take heaps of amazing photos.
One rover that regularly takes these photos is Curiosity. Curiosity has been exploring Mars since August 2012, and since then it has uploaded over 443,000 images. Two particularly eye-catching ones were uploaded on November 15th – the first of which can be seen above. In the photo taken with Curiosity’s right navigation camera, Curiosity shows a duo of rocks hanging out on the surface of Mars. The one on the left has a clear round tip with a slope of dirt and smaller stones that build up to it. It is one of the more uniquely shaped rocks we have seen and it shows how varied Mars rocks can be.
The second Mars rock looks completely different
That brings us to the second picture. The first image shows another stone to the right, but it is mostly cut off by Curiosity’s camera. Fortunately, the full-screen clip in the second image is shown above. It has an elongated shape, a clear curve with a dot in the middle and casts a dark shadow on the ground beneath it. It is a completely different shape compared to the rock just a few meters away, and serves as a good example of the many different rocks found on the red planet.
How on earth did these stones get their shape? Who knows! They can be the result of ancient space rocks hitting the planet, billions of years of sandstorms or a myriad of other things. What is certain, however, is that they are only two of seemingly endless rock formations on Mars. It may not be a good home for humans, but when it comes to rocks, Mars is the place to be.
Next: How many moons does Mars have, and what are they?
Source: NASA (1), (2)
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