A postcard from Mars ( also in 3D)

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. During a break in its tour of Mars, Curiosity, the rover of NASA, took a spectacular panoramic photo of one of the most geologically interesting areas of the red planet.

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.


The rocky outcrop of Junda and, in the background, Mount Sharp.

Credit: NASA / JPL- Caltech / Marco Di Lorenzo / Ken Kremer –

Those strips of rocks aligned and parallel to NASA scientists were intriguing from the first orbital images. So Curiosity has decided to stop to photograph on February 19 during a tour of inspection of the Martian soil that it is making in this period.

The streaks of the ground, all oriented in the same direction, are clearly visible in the panoramic photo made ​​from a collage of different shots taken that day by the rover.

As we know the team of the Mars Science Laboratory Project is working to try to better understand the ancient habitable environments of the red plant and reconstruct the changes in climatic conditions that has gone through.

This picture could then prove to be a good summary of possible future discoveries of Curiosity. The rocks in the foreground belong to an outcrop called Junda, proving the fact that the rover has crossed during a walk of 100 meters. And the same soil streaks are visible in an area called Kimberley, chosen by the researchers as the next site of scientific investigations of the robot. Against the background of the picture stands the Sharp Mountain, the long-term goal of the NASA mission, which could be a source of important new revelations about the past of Mars.

The 3D version of the same photo

Credit: NASA / JPL- Caltech

The 3D version of the same photo, viewed with special glasses with red and blue filters. For the high resolution version please click with the right mouse button and download the file (or open it in a new window).

This striking image is a mosaic of navigation camera images, at Junda outcrop with Mt. Sharp in the background.  Junda is a place in W. Australia, which is where we are taking our locality names from in this part of our traverse.

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