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Space Photos of the Week: The Curiosity Rover is a salty dog



The NASA rover Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012. Since then he has been cruising around, shooting lasers at rocks, drilling into the ground and conducting scientific experiments. Just last week it became known that Curiosity had found something salty. The Rover drives over the Gale Crater, an ancient Marseebett that was once filled with water and has sulphate salts discovered.

Scientists believe this is likely because the water has evaporated in a very dry phase and the salts are left behind. Our own earth stays wet because we have an atmosphere and a magnetic field that keeps our planet watery and healthy so we can comfortably survive. The story for Mars, however, is a bit more complex. Billions of years ago, Mars had an atmosphere, but there was always a relatively small magnetic field, so the solar winds from the sun scattered the atmosphere over time ̵

1; leaving them behind the dry, arid planet we've come to be.

This week, we will be cruising around Mars on the largest and most evil robot on the red planet.

NASA tends to name the rocks that Curiosity finds on its journey. Now you meet "Old Soaker". This plate is 3 feet long and has definitely seen some things in the last 3.5 billion years. The crackling effect is due to puddles accumulating over this rock, drying out and re-accumulating and dehydrating – a process that repeated over eons and left that textured look. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS [19659007] Squid Bay in Storm Crater "class =" responsive-image__image "src =" https://media.wired.com/photos/5da0fbfe01e4a40008261450/master/w_1600%2Cc_limit/photos_space_PIA21263 .jpg "srcset =" https://media.wired.com/photos/5da0fbfe01e4a40008261450/master/w_1600%2Cc_limit/photos_space_PIA21263.jpg 1600w, https://media.wired.com/photos/5da0fbfe01e4a40008261450/master/w_1280%2Cc_limit /photos_space_PIA21263.jpg 1080w, https://media.wired.com/photos/5da0fbfe01e4a40008261450/master/w_768%2Cc_limit /photos_space_PIA21263.jpg 768w, https://media.wired.com/photos/5da0fbfe01e4a40008261450/master/w_640%2Cc_limit/photos_space_PIA21263.jpg 640w "sizes =" 100vw "/>
This rock group is called Squid Bay and has the look of Old Soaker seen a lot of wet and dry periods, most of what these formations have produced are sin The sediments that have accumulated over billions of years, and Mars geologists are trying to deduce the water evaporation cycle from the patterns and materials they see. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a workhorse satellite that has captured some of the most impressive photos of Mars of all time. These gentle blue hills and dunes form the bottom of the Gale Crater. In these HiRise camera images, blue represents the type of material on the ground, which in this case would be extremely fine sand. These wrong colors are generated by the HiRise camera processing – black can indicate, for example, salty water. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

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