01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Measuring the Age of a Rock on MarsA rock in the Sheepbed mudstone deposit in the Yellowknife Bay area inside Gale Crater is the first rock on Mars ever to be dated by laboratory analysis of its ingredients. The analysis using measurements of the rock's potassium and argon content by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover yielded an estimate that it is 3.86 billion to 4.56 billion years old.
The mudstone is a sedimentary rock formed by particles that had started in rocks at higher elevations -- labelled on this image as "sediment sources" -- and washed downslope before being deposited at Yellowknife Bay.
The age measured for the rock is not the depositional age of the mudstone. Researchers calculate that it is a mixture of the ages of the mineral components delivered to the mudstone via stream transport from the crater rim and the highlands beyond, as indicated by the yellow symbols. Estimates of age based on the density of impact craters on different areas of Mars put the Gale impact and surrounding highlands in the range 3.6 billion to 4.1 billion years old, a good match to the new age estimate from laboratory analysis.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech