February 08, 2023

At the bottom of this valley, called Gediz Vallis, is a mound of boulders and debris that are believed to have been swept there by wet landslides billions of years ago.
Figure A

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mastcam to capture this mosaic of Gediz Vallis on Nov. 7, 2022, the 3,646th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. In the center of the valley in this image is a pile of boulders and debris that may have been swept there by flowing water billions of years ago.

Figure A is a close-up of the debris pile.

Wind is thought to have carved the larger valley, which starts much higher up on Mount Sharp, the 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) Martian mountain whose foothills Curiosity has been ascending since 2014. The mountain is made up of layers, with the oldest at the bottom and the youngest at the top. Approaching this debris in the valley’s interior channel is thought to be the only way that Curiosity will be able to study younger material that originated higher on the mountain than the rover will ever go.

The mosaic is made up of 18 individual images that were stitched together after being sent to Earth. The color has been adjusted to match lighting conditions as the human eye would see them on Earth.

Curiosity was built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California. JPL leads the mission on behalf of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego built and operates Mastcam.

For more about Curiosity, visit: http://mars.nasa.gov/msl or https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html.




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