Mars from Spirit

May 09, 2006

Mars4 copy

Provided by: Phil Dombrowski
Summary authors & editors: Phil Dombrowski

This image is but one of thousands captured from the Mars Rover "Spirit," which is still operating and is now about 700 days past its warranty, according to NASA. The fragmented rocks shown on this hilly scene may be evidence of an impact event that broke the formation into pieces. Most views of the Martian landscape taken from the rovers show geologic features having analogs back on Earth. Water appears to have played a major role in sculpturing portions of the Martian landscape, though, ambient temperatures are now too cold and atmospheric pressures too low to sustain liquid water at the surface. The newly arrived Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will help decipher when water was last on the surface of Mars and where it is now.

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