Google+ Mars Travel: Mars Photo of the Day - 19 Aug 2012

Mars Photo of the Day - 19 Aug 2012

Today's Image of Mars shows Mars Science Laboratory's landing site and it's most immediate destination, Glenelg. This area was chosen because it marks the area where three different types of terrain intersect:

Credit: HiRISE with overlays from NASA. Click for high resolution version

1. In the top right you see the brighter terrain, which scientists are interested in because it may be a type of bedrock that Curiosity can eventually try and drill into. 

2. The bottom right shows terrain that scientists believe is harder and older than the surrounding terrain. Scientists know this because the terrain has many more small impact sites from meteors, which is generally an indicator of an older surface area. 

3. The next type of terrain is found at MSL's landing site and scientists are interested to see if it is duplicated at Glenelg.

But why was the name Glenelg chosen? Because MSL will be visiting the area twice, both coming and going, and the word glenelg is a palindrome, meaning it is spelled the same backward as it is forward.

Following MSL's examination of Glenelg, the rover will begin its southward drive toward the base of Mount Sharp!


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