NASA’s Mars Rover follows the path of what appears to be an ancient river

This “snake-like” path closely resembles a winding river.

Lazy river

Operators of NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover have made their decision, and the off-world rover will continue down a rocky ridge that scientists believe was once a raging river.

Earlier this month, the only vehicle reached the upper region of the Gedes Valles mountain range, a “Snake-like path“It reminds us of the channels that rivers carve on Earth.

That left the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a big decision: either continue along Gedes Valles to look for a place to cross — or venture out to the south side of Pinnacle Ridge, which is passable according to the latest load. Data.

Finally, the team settled on continuing along Gedez Valles.

“I really like processes like today,” Abigail Freeman, a planetary geologist at JPL, wrote in an article. NASA update. “This morning we came away with a brand new Martian sight to admire, and then we had to work together as a team to quickly decide what to do next.”

Glow up

Curiosity has already proven invaluable in shedding new light on the Red Planet’s ancient past, compiling evidence that its surface once teemed with roaring rivers.

Last year scientists Analyze new data Obtained by the Relentless rover, it concluded that these rivers could have hosted ancient life. Crater formations called “seat-and-nose landforms” are likely remnants of ancient riverbeds, researchers concluded in a recent study. Stady.

“This analysis is not a snapshot, but a record of change,” co-author and Penn State assistant professor of geosciences Benjamin Cardenas said in a statement at the time. “What we see on Mars today are the remnants of an active geological history, not some landscape frozen in time.”

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The curiosity is just scratching the surface. Scientists believe that other parts of Mars’ surface could also have been shaped and formed by sediments carried by rivers billions of years ago, a time when the planet likely appeared completely unknown.

More about curiosity: Mars is full of minerals closely linked to life, NASA’s rover has found

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