PIA14307: Cemented Fractures in Mountain Inside Gale Crater on Mars
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Spacecraft: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Instrument: HiRISE
Product Size: 868 x 655 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: University of Arizona/HiRise-LPL
Full-Res TIFF: PIA14307.tif (1.708 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA14307.jpg (100.7 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

One type of feature of scientific interest on the mountain inside Gale crater is exposure of cemented fractures, evidence that groundwater once reached to at least that height of the mountain.

This image of that part of the mountain, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows symmetry in how material on one side of each fracture is balanced by material on the other side. This pattern indicates that mineral-saturated groundwater once filled the fractures. The water deposited minerals on both sides of the opening, eventually filling the gap.

This observation increases the appeal of Gale crater, which has been selected as the landing site for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Image Addition Date:
2011-07-22