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This view from Curiosity shows a dramatic hillside outcrop with sandstone layers that scientists refer to as "cross-bedding."
09.09.2016

Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)

This view from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows a hillside outcrop with layered rocks within the "Murray Buttes" region on lower Mount Sharp.

The buttes and mesas rising above the surface in this area are eroded remnants of ancient sandstone that originated when winds deposited sand after lower Mount Sharp had formed. Curiosity closely examined that layer -- called the "Stimson formation" -- during the first half of 2016, while crossing a feature called "Naukluft Plateau" between two exposures of the Murray formation. The layering within the sandstone is called "cross-bedding" and indicates that the sandstone was deposited by wind as migrating sand dunes.

The image was taken on Sept. 8, 2016, during the 1454th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover's Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission's Curiosity rover, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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