NASA has released the first full color mosaic from its Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.
Scientists have remarked that the rover’s surroundings resembled parts of the southwestern US.
Curiosity’s ultimate goal is to drive towards a peak – informally known as Mount Sharp – to study its rocks.
Shown in the mosaic is a section on the crater wall where a network of valleys is believed to have formed through water entering from the outside.
This is the first view scientists have had of a fluvial system – one relating to a river or stream – from the surface of Mars.
Team members are also studying a section looking south of the landing site that provides an overview of the eventual geological targets Curiosity will explore, including the rock-strewn, gravelly surface nearby, a dark dune field and the sedimentary rock of Mount Sharp.
The rover will also study a patch of ground where rocks have been uncovered by the blast of the rockets used on the “sky crane”, which lowered Curiosity to the surface.