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Emily LakdawallaSeptember 17, 2012

Pretty picture: rocks underfoot at Curiosity's landing site

Curiosity had a busy weekend and is now well on the way to Glenelg. The Navcam mosaic taken at the end of sol 38 had some intriguing looking rocks in it. So on sol 39 the team commanded Curiosity to take a set of photos. Drive-by geology is always somewhat dangerous, so I am not going to speculate about what kind of rock we're looking at or why it's broken and tilted the way that it is. But I will say that it looks an awful lot like broken paving concrete! Flat on top, gravel inside, dirt underneath.

Conglomerate rock formation in Gale crater, Curiosity sol 39

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Ed Truthan

Conglomerate rock formation in Gale crater, Curiosity sol 39
A nine-image color Mastcam-100 mosaic of some tilted blocks of rock seen by Curiosity during its drive to Glenelg, sol 39 (September 15, 2012).

It's a very interesting-looking rock formation -- but not interesting enough, apparently, for Curiosity to spend any more time on it. After taking these photos on sol 39, Curiosity drove onward. And onward again, on sol 41.

Read more: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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