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This image shows Rocks explored by the Rover.
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Image from: JPL/NASA

Possible Origins of Rocks explored by the Rover

Unlike Earth where rivers can carry material for hundreds of miles, Martian rivers, which seem to be not very long at all, cannot transport material very long distances. The farthest a river may be able to carry a rock may be only 10's of kilometers.

Because many of the rocks seem to be similar, some scientists are presently guessing that the boulders may have been eroded from an outcropping 30 km away.

On the other hand, some of the weathering features found on the rocks may be signs that some of the rock originated as ejecta from the Big Crater located 2.2 kilometers to the south of the landing site.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA