12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Scarp Retreat Model and Exposure History of 'Yellowknife Bay'This set of drawings depicts cross sections of the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater at three points in time going back more than 80 million years (>80 Ma).
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has made measurements indicating that the Cumberland rock target the rover drilled in May 2013 has been exposed at the surface for about 80 million years. Further ago than that, the drill site was covered with about 10 feet (3 meters) of rock, as depicted in the top panel. At about 80 million years (middle panel), Cumberland was exposed as the scarp retreated due to abrasion by windblown sand. The sideways erosion, or retreat, occurred at an average rate of about 3 feet (1 meter) per million years.
This pattern suggests that the material with the youngest surface-exposure age and lowest cosmic-ray dose is at the base of the downwind scarp. Understanding the pattern gives the rover team insight for selecting future targets for drilling to investigate whether organic chemicals have been preserved in rocks.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech