Science & Environment

Nasa Mars rover makes detailed crater image

Nasa has released the first high-resolution colour mosaic from its Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.

Scientists have remarked that the rover's surroundings resembled parts of the southwestern US.

Curiosity's ultimate goal is to drive towards a peak - informally known as Mount Sharp - to study its rocks.

Shown in the mosaic is a section on the crater wall where a network of valleys are believed to have formed through water entering from the outside.

Media captionProject scientist John Grotzinger: "It is just going to be spectacular"

This high-resolution picture is the first view scientists have had of a fluvial system - one relating to a river or stream - from the surface of Mars.

Team members are also studying a section looking south of the landing site that provides an overview of the eventual geological targets Curiosity will explore, including the rock-strewn, gravelly surface nearby, a dark dune field and the sedimentary rock of Mount Sharp.

The rover will also study a patch of ground where rocks have been uncovered by the blast of the rockets used on the "skycrane", which lowered Curiosity to the surface.

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