05.15.2017 Putting Martian 'Tribulation' Behind
05.15.2017 From 'Tribulation' to 'Perseverance' on Mars
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop Team
04.20.2017 Subcritical Water Extractor
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop
04.20.2017 Atacama Landscape
03.30.2017 Measuring Mars' Atmosphere Loss
03.29.2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Theisinger
03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
03.17.2017 COBALT/JPL team
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
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
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
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