PIA26246: Curiosity Arrives at Gediz Vallis Channel
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  Navcam (MSL)
 Product Size:  7696 x 2774 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26246.tif (14.07 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26246.jpg (2.033 MB)

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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured this 360-degree panorama using one of its black-and-white navigation cameras on Feb. 3, 2024, the 4,086th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The panorama is made up of 36 images that were stitched together after being sent back to Earth.

Since 2014, Curiosity has been ascending the foothills of Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the floor of Gale Crater. The layers in this lower part of the mountain formed over millions of years under a changing Martian climate, providing scientists with a way to study how the presence of both water and the chemical ingredients required for life changed over time.

This location is in an area Curiosity will be exploring for several months: Gediz Vallis channel. Seen from space, it resembles a winding, dry riverbed. Scientists are eager to study the area up close with Curiosity's instruments and confirm whether the channel was carved by debris flows (rapid, wet landslides) or an ancient river carrying rocks and sediment, as opposed to wind.

Curiosity was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California. JPL leads the mission on behalf of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more about Curiosity, visit: http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

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