Curiosity rover snaps a detailed look at sand dunes on MarsNASA plans to collect and analyze samples for further research.
In its trek around the surface of the Red Planet, the Curiosity rover reached the sand dunes it already ogled from afar. While that may not sound all that exciting, these images the vehicle captured along its journey provide the first detailed look at the Martian dunes for further study. The image above is a wheel track on the "High Dune," part of the larger "Bagnold Dunes" that lie on the northwest side of Mars' Mount Sharp. The rover will scoop up and sieve sand samples to be analyzed with Curiosity's own onboard lab equipment.This composite image was created from a collection of snapshots taken by the rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) on November 27th. The instrument also captured images of the petrified sand dunes on Mars from a distance back in August. During its visit, Curiosity will look to determine how much this area has changed over time in addition to gathering data on the sand's composition. NASA already observed from orbit that edges of the dunes move as much at three feet (one meter) per Earth year.
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