The Mars Curiosity rover captured this astonishing sight on the surface of the Red Planet, and it's getting scientists excited about the secrets it may hold.
A huge discovery on the surface of the Red Planet using the Mars Curiosity rover has absolutely floored NASA researchers. They’ve just spotted the first instance of gravity waves shaping the Martian clouds based on an examination of a series of pictures taken by the Curiosity rover in recent years.
It’s taken 500 video records by the rover, but scientists think they’ve spotted evidence of the elusive phenomenon. The findings will be featured at the annual conference of the Lunar and Planetary Science this month. The clouds are formed when Mars tries to restore its natural equilibrium and releases energy in the form of gravity waves, which shape the clouds in the unique and unusual shapes.
It’s an amazing sight because scientists didn’t think it was possible on Mars. And it’s a discovery that could lead to more breakthroughs about the existence of water in Mars’ distant past, and perhaps could lead to insight on the possibility of life itself on the planet.
In other rover news, NASA is concerned about breaks discovery in the wheels of the Curiosity rover. It’s a sign that wear and tear is increasing on the rover after driving 10 miles on the Martian surface.
“All six wheels have more than enough working lifespan remaining to get the vehicle to all destinations planned for the mission,” said Curiosity Project Manager Jim Erickson at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “While not unexpected, this damage is the first sign that the left middle wheel is nearing a wheel-wear milestone.”