Mars rover landing site overview (kinda technical but cool)

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Mars rover landing site overview (kinda technical but cool)

Postby PomfretPlunge » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:12 pm

Here's a really cool review article which gives an overview, context, and some of the geochemical remote sensing data for the Curiosity rover landing site in Gale Crater on Mars. This provides some good context for the amazing pictures & data the rover is sending back.

There are some beautiful color pictures at the end of the review. If you look into the pictures, you can see the riverbeds and sand dunes up on Mars. Cool beans! I also think the text is relatively clear & well-written for a technical thingie ... tedIJA.pdf

In terms of age, they think Mars had probably 3 main geologic periods called Noachian (great floods), Hesperian (drying out, with occasional catastrophic floods surging up from aquifers), and Amazonian (cold desert like today). They think Gale Crater, where Curiosity is exploring, is probably right about at the Noachian-Hesperian boundary, which was about 3.5 billion years ago.

The crater is full of clear layers of rock. Some of the layers are showing obvious clay chemistry when observed from orbit. The rover has also already found at least one streambed (full of rounded gravel – probably unmistakable).

Will be fascinating to see what we learn as the rover radios more info back…

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