Curiosity Mars Rover Nears First Study Site of Active Sand Dunes Beyond Earth

The dark band in the lower portion of this Martian scene is part of the “Bagnold Dunes” dune field lining the northwestern edge of Mount Sharp. The view combines multiple images taken with the Mast Camera on Curiosity on Sept. 25, 2015, Sol 1115th. The images are from Mastcam’s right-eye camera, which has a telephoto lens. The view is toward south-southeast. The scene is white balanced. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover is on the road to soon start the first ever study of currently active sand dunes anywhere beyond Earth. The dunes are located nearby, at the foothills of Mount Sharp, and Curiosity is due to arrive for an up close look in just a few days to start her unique research investigations.

The eerily dark dunes, named the “Bagnold Dunes,” skirt the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. Ascending and diligently exploring the sedimentary layers of Mount Sharp is the primary goal of the mission. (…)
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© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2015. |
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