The following is an excerpt from Foxnews.com | January 3, 2017 |
Mars may appear red when viewed from Earth, but NASA's Curiosity rover has captured an up-close photo of the planet's mountainous landscape, with purple-colored rocks littered across the foreground.
This remarkable new photo was captured near the base of Mars' Mount Sharp. The image's three frames were taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Nov. 10.
"Variations in color of the rocks hint at the diversity of their composition on lower Mount Sharp. The purple tone of the foreground rocks has been seen in other rocks where Curiosity's Chemical and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument has detected hematite,” or a type of iron-oxide mineral, NASA officials said in a statement. "Winds and windblown sand in this part of Curiosity's traverse and in this season tend to keep rocks relatively free of dust, which otherwise can cloak rocks' color.” [Amazing Mars Photos by NASA's Curiosity Rover (Latest Images)]
Mount Sharp rises 3 miles from the center of Mars' 96-mile-wide Gale Crater. After arriving at the crater in 2012, Curiosity found evidence that suggested that the area could have supported microbial life in the ancient past.
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