New close-up view from Curiosity of a ‘bubble’

Close-up view of one of the odd “bubbles” on the bedrock in Gale crater. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

Just a quick follow-up to the previous post about the odd “bubbles” seen by the Curiosity rover on Mars. There is now a nice new Mastcam image (sol 122) showing one of these features close-up. They do look like former bubble-shaped domes on the bedrock which have since mostly eroded, leaving behind little ring-shaped “walls.” There are quite a few in this area, generally about a few centimetres across or so. What caused them? Bubbling mud? Venting gas? Something else? Another “curious” little mystery!

Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which is a chronicle of planetary exploration. He also publishes The Exoplanet Report e-paper. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now also currently write for AmericaSpace and He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, has been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.

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