Opportunity Mars Rover Current Affairs

NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover finds evidence of Ancient Lake

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has found rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater that might have been a lake of liquid water. The scientists believe that the rocks were either transported by a flood or eroded in place by the wind.

Salient Facts

NASA’s Opportunity rover has been investigating on and near the western rim of Endeavour Crater since 2011. The Endeavour Crater is about 22 km across.

Opportunity has found out a pattern of striations running east-west outside the crest of the rim. The features have been observed just outside the crater rim’s crest above “Perseverance Valley”.

To ascertain whether the rocks are present in-place or got transported, scientists plan to drive Opportunity down Perseverance Valley. The Perseverance valley extends for a distance of about two football fields. It slopes down from the crest into the Endeavour crater.

The scientists are looking into several hypotheses for the perched lake. As per one hypothesis, one of the possibility is that a flood might have brought in the rocks and carved out the Perseverance valley. Another believes that the area was fractured by the impact that created Endeavour Crater.

Background

Mars has a rich variety of geological features: huge craters, broad plains, tall mountains, deep canyons, and much more. NASA’s Opportunity, also known as MER-B is a robotic rover investigating the Martian surface since 2004. It was launched in 2003 as a part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program. The rover landed on the Martian surface in 2004.

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