Curiosity Rover: Postcard from Mars
This composite image looking toward the higher regions of Mount Sharp was acquired during mission sol 1099 (September 9, 2015), using Curiosity rover's right-side 100 mm mast camera.
In the foreground about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the rover is a long ridge teeming with hematite, an iron oxide. Just beyond is an undulating plain rich in clay minerals. And just beyond that are a multitude of rounded buttes, all high in sulfate minerals.
The changing mineralogy in these layers of Mount Sharp suggests a changing environment in early Mars, though all involve exposure to water billions of years ago.
The Curiosity team hopes to be able to explore these diverse areas in the months and years ahead. Further back in the image are striking, light-toned cliffs in rock that may have formed in drier times and now is heavily eroded by winds. I have created this composite (mosaic) from 2 browse images stored in the MSL Analysts Notebook (PDS), stitching was carried out in MS ICE and the mosaic then cropped and sharpened to highlight the terrain.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
JPL Location map for sol 1099: LINK
JPL Traverse map for sol 1099: LINK