Oceanus Borealis Gale Crater SGM2010 DustFirst of all we saw that water ran through this landscape: It was coming from the rim of the crater and lasted long enough to soften the rocks into pebbles and gravel.
Mars Society Switzerland
Geology & Atmosphere
Alluvial fan from the Peace River flowing from the rim of the crater. The red color is surface rock that retains heat longer. It might have been hardened by water.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and PSI
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS That inclined layering is "cross-bedding". It is indicative of sediment transport in stream flows. Currents mold sediments into small underwater dunes that migrate downstream. When exposed in cross-section, evidence of this migration is preserved as strata that are steeply inclined relative to the horizontal.
Temperature is not so cold
The atmosphere density is low (as expected) and variable.
Radiations are higher than expected but there is a shield effect of the atmosphere.
Beyond showing the temperature differences of the ground (lower thermal inertia and higher thermal inertia resulting from past water action), this measures (by the REMS instrument aboard Curiosity) present the advantage of showing that the Martian environment (in mid Spring) is not so cold (positive temperatures during the day). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/CAB(CSIC-INTA)/FMI
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CAB(CSIC-INTA)/FMI/Ashima Research. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ashima Research/SWRI The density of the atmosphere is increasing as we are heading towards Austral Summer (as carbon dioxide vaporize from the South Polar cap). It is also varying a lot during the day on account of a thermal tide caused by the variation of warmth received from the Sun (higher pressure at night).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SWRI First radiations measures in Crater Gale, have been disappointing as we had to admit they are higher than expected. However dose rates are "only" 50% of average dose in Space. Note that galactic ray (Heavy ion events) are still very powerful. Futur astronauts of inhabited missions will have to protect themselves by living within sheltered habitats.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI The level of radiations obviously varies inversely with the atmospheric pressure It also varies with the intensity of Sun's activity (27 days cycles). The higher the sun's activity (and radiations), the lower the galactic radiations.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
Page 2 Page 3Six month after Curiosity landed, what did we learn? (page 1)
1. The environment
Frozen CO2 Pressures Changes Methane