HomeSpace NewsCuriosity rover snaps close-up of tiny 'mineral flower' on Mars

Curiosity rover snaps close-up of tiny ‘mineral flower’ on Mars

A photo of the “mineral flower”  alongside other diagenetic features on the surface of Mars captured by NASA’s Curiosity rover on Feb. 25. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Curiosity rover recently got up close and personal with a tiny, flower-like mineral deposit on the surface of Mars. The beautiful branching rock, which is just 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) wide, looks a bit like a coral or a sponge. Despite its likeness to a living organism, however, the deposit is not alive and is a fairly common sight across the Martian landscape.  

Curiosity snapped a picture of the tiny mineral flower on Feb. 25 near Aeolis Mons, also known as Mount Sharp, at the heart of the 96-mile-wide (154 kilometers) Gale crater, which the rover has been studying since its arrival on the Red Planet in 2012. The image is a composite of multiple shots taken by Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager, which takes close-ups using a magnifying lens. This type of composite photo allows the rover to produce much more detailed images, according to NASA

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