Resistant Features in 'Pahrump Hills' OutcropThis image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows an example of a type of geometrically distinctive feature that researchers are examining at a mudstone outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp.
These features on the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop are accumulations of erosion-resistant materials. Similar-appearing features on Earth form when shallow bodies of water begin to evaporate and minerals precipitate from the concentrated brines.
The width of the image covers about nine-tenths of an inch (2.2 centimeters) of the rock surface. This is a merged-focus image product combining information from multiple MAHLI images taken on Sept. 23, 2014, during the 758th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars.
MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS