Perseverance, which landed on February 18, is preparing the Ingenuity helicopter for its first flights to Mars in April. Until the arrival of Perseverance, Curiosity was the only active rover on Mars. The two rovers, located about 2,300 miles apart on Mars, explore very different areas.
Perseverance will look for signs of ancient microbial life in the dry lake bed and the Jezero crater river delta. Orbiters surrounding Mars have detected a clay mineral called nontronite, which is found close to the actual Nontron on Earth, in this area on Mars.
The outcrop is 20 feet high and can be seen to the left of the rover. Curiosity used its drill to capture a sample of rock near the formation, which scientists have dubbed Nontron. This is the 30th sample collected by Curiosity to date. Curiosity used his drill to turn the sample into powder, which was then fed into some of the rover’s instruments. Scientists can analyze data from the rover’s instruments to learn more about the composition of rocks in the area. These details could provide a window into the Martian past.
Earlier this month, on March 16 and 26, Curiosity captured 60 images using its robotic arm and 11 images with its Mastcam of a rock formation called “Mont Mercou”. This nickname was borrowed from a mountain in south-eastern France near the village of Nontron. Curiosity has steadily climbed the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp, located in the center of Gale Crater, since 2014.
The Curiosity rover also recently looked up to capture an image of clouds on Mars, taken using its right navigation camera. This area is of particular interest to researchers because it represents a transition in rocks from an area rich in clay to an area rich in sulfate – and it could tell scientists what made Mars go from a potentially planet. habitable billions of years ago in the frozen desert it is today.
“What you see here are not just clouds, they are Martian clouds. Take a moment of your day to gaze at the sky of another world, ”read a tweet from the Curiosity account. Source
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