03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
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
Breccia-Conglomerate Rocks on Lower Mount Sharp, Mars (Stereo)This stereo scene from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows boulders composed, in part, of pebble-size (0.2 to 2.6 inches, or 0.5 to 6.5 centimeters across) and larger rock fragments. The size and shape of the fragments provide clues to the origins of these boulders. This image is an anaglyph that appears three dimensional when viewed through red-blue glasses with the red lens on the left.
The separate right-eye and left-eye views combined into the stereo version are Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. Mastcam's right-eye camera has a telephoto lens, with focal length of 100 millimeters. The left-eye camera provides a wider view, with a 34-millimeter lens.
These images were taken on July 22, 2016, during the 1,408th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. For scale, the relatively flat rock at left is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) across. The rock in the foreground at right is informally named "Balombo." The group of boulders is at a site called "Bimbe."
The Curiosity team chose to drive the rover to Bimbe to further understand patches of boulders first identified from orbit and seen occasionally on the rover's traverse. The boulders at Bimbe consist of multiple rock types. Some include pieces, or "clasts," of smaller, older rock cemented together, called breccias or conglomerates.
The shapes of the inclusion clasts -- whether they are rounded or sharp-edged -- may indicate how far the clasts were transported, and by what processes. Breccias have more angular clasts, while conglomerates have more rounded clasts. As is clear by looking at these boulders, they contain both angular and rounded clasts, leading to some uncertainty about how they formed.
Conglomerate rocks such as "Hottah" were inspected near Curiosity's landing site and interpreted as part of an ancient streambed. Breccias are generally formed by consolidation of fragments under pressure. On Mars such pressure might come from crater-forming impact, or by deep burial and exhumation.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, and built the project's Curiosity rover. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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