Curiosity rover finds methane and organics on Mars

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drilled into this rock target, "Cumberland," during the 279th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (May 19, 2013) and collected a powdered sample of material from the rock's interior.

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. “This temporary increase in methane – sharply up and then back down… Read More

Image Gallery: more rock oddities in Pahrump Hills

The Curiosity rover is still investigating the fascinating variety of rock outcrops at Pahrump Hills, near the base of Mount Sharp. In addition to the odd “blisters” and “elongated hollows” mentioned before, there are other interesting and unusual rock formations here. Wind and erosion can create some weird shapes in rocks, and these two new … Read more

Image Gallery: interesting rock textures in Pahrump Hills

As Curiosity has continued to investigate the rock outcrops of Pahrump Hills near the base of Mount Sharp, it has found a variety of interesting textures on the rocks that should provide more clues to the conditions here a long time ago. Shown here are examples of rounded, raised “blisters” and many small elongated “hollows” … Read more

Image Gallery: more oddities from Curiosity

As the Curiosity rover was approaching the flat rock outcrop called Pahrump Hills, where it is currently drilling again, it spotted a few more interesting features. These include the “ball,” a small round spherical stone, about a cm or two across, which resembles the “blueberry” concretions seen by the Opportunity rover in Meridiani (like the ones … Read more