Interesting rows of rocks found on Mars by Curiosity Rover

Martian Landscape with Rock Rows and Mount Sharp

Martian Landscape with Rock Rows and Mount Sharp
Credit NASA-JPL

This landscape scene photographed by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows rows of rocks in the foreground and Mount Sharp on the horizon. Curiosity’s Navigation Camera (Navcam) took the component images for this mosaic during a pause in driving on the 548th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars (Feb. 19, 2014). The Sol 548 drive covered 328 feet (100 meters).

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 at PIA17948. A look back from the end of the Sol 548 drive is available at PIA17949.

About the author

Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.