“Snake River” rocks on Mars

“Snakes on a Planet? No, but this sinuous rock formation I spotted on Mars looks like one.” Mars Curiosity Rover tweeted on 4 January, 2013 at 1:51 PM.

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity started working on January 3rd after some holidays and it found a graceful rock feature called “Snake River.” Don’t be confused, it is not a snake nor a river. “Snake River is a thin curving line of darker rock cutting through flatter rocks and jutting above sand,” as reported by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was taken on 133rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars. On Sol 147 (Jan. 3, 2013), the rover moved about 10 feet (3 meters) to look at the “Snake River” closely.

Snake River rock feature on Mars (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech )

The research team has planned to study it in detail before moving further.

“It’s one piece of the puzzle,” mission’s project scientist, John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. “It has a crosscutting relationship to the surrounding rock and appears to have formed after the deposition of the layer that it transects.”

During the holiday break, Curiosity stayed at a location within Yellowknife Bay and took the images of its surroundings. Now the team is determining the possible first places, where the rover would drill and collect some powdered samples from the interior of the rocks for analysis.

“We had no surprises over the holidays,” said the mission’s project manager, Richard Cook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena. “Now, Curiosity is back on the move. The area the rover is in looks good for our first drilling target.”


How long does it take for the transmission to get from you to mission control? (Stephanie Grant)

The current one-way light time between Earth and Mars is 18.6 minutes. (Curiosity Rover)

What is the color of the sky on mars??? (shayi krishna)

While the sun’s up, the sky is a butterscotch color, but the sunsets are blue because of the red Martian dust in the atmosphere. (Curiosity Rover)


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