NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now in Sol 2455, performing science duties.
Reviews Melissa Rice, a planetary geologist at Western Washington College, Bellingham, Washington: “Curiosity is at the moment close to the highest of Harlaw Rise, having made a slight diversion from the southward drive by way of the clay-bearing unit to discover the good exposures of rocks on this hill.”
A current plan referred to as for Curiosity to research two rock targets in entrance of the rover: “Perth” and “Aberdeen.”
There may be solely sufficient time on this plan to place the arm on considered one of these two targets, Rice provides, so Perth will get a better look with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) microscopic imager and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument, and “Aberdeen” will get shot by the Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) laser.
“The Mastcam cameras will doc each targets. After that, Curiosity will make a brief drive additional up the hill to a spot the place each of those rock sorts may be higher uncovered,” Rice factors out.
“Why will we give names like “Perth” and “Aberdeen” to Curiosity’s rock targets? How does the biggest metropolis in Western Australia find yourself proper subsequent to a Washington State timber city? As a Lengthy-Time period Planner for the Curiosity science workforce, considered one of my obligations is to maintain observe of the names that the workforce makes use of, and to be sure that they match inside the theme for this portion of the rover’s traverse,” Rice explains.
Curiosity is at the moment in a area of the workforce’s geologic map referred to as the Torridon Quadrangle, named after a village within the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Ricet provides, which is close to an necessary geological formation referred to as the Torridonian Supergroup.
“Due to this fact, the entire names assigned to targets on this area of Curiosity’s traverse come from landforms, geologic formations, and cities in that a part of Scotland. So the namesakes of immediately’s ‘Perth’ and ‘Aberdeen’ rock targets on Mars are the identical as these of all the opposite Perths and Aberdeens on the market: Perth, Scotland, and Aberdeen, Scotland,” Rice says.