NASA’s Mars rover is following the path of what appears to be an ancient river

This “snake-like” path resembles a winding river.

lazy river

The operators of NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover have made up their mind, and the off-world probe will pass through a rocky ridge that scientists believe was once a raging river.

Earlier this month, the lone rover reached the upper reaches of the Geddes Wallis Ridge, “snake way“The rivers are reminiscent of the channels that rivers take back to the earth.

This left the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab with a big decision: Either the rover will continue with Geddes Wallis looking for a place to cross it — or venture southward to Pinnacle Ridge, which will be visible according to the latest upload. The data is passable according to.

Ultimately, the team continued with Geddes Wallis.

“I really like operation days like today,” JPL planetary geologist Abigail Freiman wrote in an article. nasa update, “We came in this morning with a completely new view of Mars to admire, and then we had to work together as a team to make quick decisions about what to do next.”

glow up

Curiosity has already proven invaluable in shedding new light on the Red Planet’s ancient past, gathering clues that suggest its surface was once filled with roaring rivers.

Last year, scientists analyzed new data were obtained by the Perseverance rover, leading to the conclusion that these rivers may have harbored ancient life. Researchers have concluded in a study that crater formations called “bench-and-nose landforms” are likely the remains of ancient river beds. Study,

“This analysis is not a snapshot, but a record of change,” coauthor and Penn State assistant professor of geology Benjamin Cardenas said in a statement at the time. “What we see on Mars today are the remains of an active geologic history, not some landscape frozen in time.”

And Curiosity is only scratching the surface. Scientists believe that other parts of Mars’ surface may also have been formed and shaped by sediment carried by rivers billions of years ago, a time when the planet looked completely unrecognizable.

More on Curiosity: NASA rover finds Mars rich in minerals and closely linked to life

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