Photos: Spectacular Mars Vistas by NASA's Curiosity Rover
By Hanneke Weitering,
Space.com, 12 September 2016.

Amazing views of the Martian landscape rival the beauty of Earth's national parks in new photos taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover last week.

1. Slopes and Buttes


Some parts of Mars look a lot like Earth. For example, these new photos of rock formations on the red planet resemble Arizona's Grand Canyon. NASA's Mars Curiosity rover took this photo of sloping buttes and layered outcrops on Mars as it exited the "Murray Buttes" region at the base of Mount Sharp on Sept. 9, 2016. [Read our full story here: Red Planet Hike: Mars Looks Like National Park in Awesome New Pics]

2. Steep Outcrops


Curiosity got close to this outcrop in the Murray Buttes region of lower Mount Sharp, where the on-board Mastcam instrument captured this photo revealing fine layers in the rock formation. [Curiosity Rover's Panoramic View of Mount Sharp]

3. Cross-Bedding


This view of Mars from NASA's Curiosity rover shows a dramatically steep hillside outcrop with stacks of angled sandstone layers that scientists refer to as "cross-bedding." ['Whale Rock' on Mars Shows Signs of Ancient Lake (Photo)]

4. Rocky Hillsides


The Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity rover snapped this photo of a sloping hillside in the Murray Buttes region of lower Mount Sharp on Sept. 8, 2016. The rim of Gale Crater, Curiosity's landing site, is visible in the distance. [VIDEO: Death Valley, Earth and Gale Crater Mars - What In Common?]

5. Layers of Martian History


The Curiosity rover viewed sloping buttes and layered outcrops on Mars as it exited the "Murray Buttes" region on Sept. 9, 2016. [Mars Rock Pile Shows a Layered History]

How Curiosity Explores Mars

The nuclear-powered mobile science laboratory Curiosity has been roving across the surface of Mars since 2012, searching for the conditions that may have once made Mars an abode of life. Here's what it has to take such amazing photos. See how NASA's Mars rover Curiosity works in this Space.com infographic.


Top image: The Murray Buttes region of Mars' lower Mount Sharp. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

[Source: Space.com. Edited. Top image added.]

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