Curiosity says farewell to Mars' Vera Rubin Ridge

Curiosity Says Farewell to Mars' Vera Rubin Ridge
A selfie taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Sol 2291 (January 15) at the "Rock Hall" drill site, located on Vera Rubin Ridge. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on Vera Rubin Ridge and descended toward a clay region of Mount Sharp. The twisting ridge on Mars has been the rover's home for more than a year, providing scientists with new samples - and new questions - to puzzle over.

On Dec. 15, Curiosity drilled its 19th sample at a location on the ridge called Rock Hall. On Jan. 15, the spacecraft used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the end of its to take a series of 57 pictures, which were stitched together into this selfie.

The "Rock Hall" drill hole is visible to the lower left of the rover; the scene is dustier than usual at this time of year due to a regional dust storm.

Curiosity has been exploring the ridge since September of 2017. It's now headed into the "clay-bearing unit," which sits in a trough just south of the ridge.

Clay minerals in this unit may hold more clues about the ancient lakes that helped form the lower levels on Mount Sharp.


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Image: Mount Sharp 'photobombs' Mars Curiosity rover

Citation: Curiosity says farewell to Mars' Vera Rubin Ridge (2019, January 28) retrieved 8 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-curiosity-farewell-mars-vera-rubin.html
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