PIA23375: Sutton Island Model of Drying Lakes (Animation)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Product Size:  1600 x 900 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA23375.tif (740.5 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA23375.jpg (117.8 kB)

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This animation demonstrates how streams may have flowed from Mount Sharp to the floor of Gale Crater, where salty ponds may have been left behind as the region dried out over time.

Rocks enriched with mineral salts discovered by NASA's Curiosity at a location on Mount Sharp called "Sutton Island" suggest that water vanished slowly, rather than all at once, possibly returning to the area in a persistent cycle of drying and overflow. This discovery serves as a watermark for when the Martian climate was gradually getting drier.

Image Credit:
ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development (KED), Michael Northrop

Image Addition Date: