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Curiosity Finds Two Very Different Rocks While Exploring Mars

Rocks on Mars come in all shapes and sizes. While recently exploring the Red Planet, NASA’s Curiosity rover found two especially intriguing ones.

Mars is a planet crowded with rocks of all shapes and sizes — and NASA‘s Curiosity rover just provided an incredible new look at two of them. If there’s one defining characteristic about Mars, it’s the planet’s rocky and dusty surface. Where Earth is filled with lush pastures, dense forests, and bountiful water, Mars is completely different. It’s a dangerously cold environment with little oxygen and endless rocks. As a destination for human life, it’d require a lot of work to become habitable.

Thankfully, we don’t need to send humans to Mars to get an up-close look at the planet. NASA has multiple robots currently exploring Mars to learn as much about it as possible — including everything from rovers to a small helicopter. These robots are hunting for ancient life, exploring areas of interest to scientists back on Earth, and more. Along with all this, they’re also capturing heaps of stunning photos.


Related: Chilling Perseverance Photo Shows Empty Mars Surface

One rover regularly taking these pictures is Curiosity. Curiosity’s been exploring Mars since August 2012, and since then, it’s uploaded over 443,000 images. Two particularly eye-catching ones were uploaded on November 15 — the first of which is seen above. In the photo taken with Curiosity’s Right Navigation Camera, Curiosity shows a duo of rocks hanging out on the Martian surface. The one on the left has a distinctly round tip with an incline of dirt and smaller rocks building up to it. It’s one of the more uniquely-shaped rocks we’ve seen, and it goes to show how varied Martian rocks can be.

The Second Mars Rock Looks Completely Different

Photo of large Mars rock, as captured by NASA's Curiosity rover
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

That brings us to the second photo. The first image shows a second rock towards the right, but it’s mostly cut off by Curiosity’s camera. Thankfully, the rock is on full display in the second picture shown above. It has an elongated shape, a distinct curve with a point in the middle, and is casting a dark shadow on the ground below it. It’s a totally different shape compared to the rock just a few feet away, and acts as a great example of the variety of rocks found on the Red Planet.

How in the world did these rocks get their shape? Who knows! They could be the result of old space rocks hitting the planet, billions of years of sandstorms, or a myriad of other things. What’s certain, however, is that they’re just two of seemingly endless rock formations on Mars. It may not be a good home for humans, but as far as rocks go, Mars is the place to be.

Next: How Many Moons Does Mars Have & What Are They?

Source: NASA (1), (2)

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