This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows an example of a type of geometrically distinctive feature that researchers are using Curiosity to examine at a mudstone outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp.
This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the first sample-collection hole drilled in Mount Sharp, the layered mountain that is the science destination of the rover's extended mission.
Curiosity Mars Rover's Approach to 'Pahrump Hills'
This southeastward-looking vista from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the 'Pahrump Hills' outcrop and surrounding terrain seen from a position about 70 feet (20 meters) northwest of the outcrop.
Curiosity Mars Rover's Route from Landing to 'Pahrump Hills'
This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover from the 'Bradbury Landing' location where it landed in August 2012 to the 'Pahrump Hills' outcrop where it drilled into the lowest part of Mount Sharp.
This image, taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows the transition between the 'Murray Formation,' in which layers are poorly expressed and difficult to trace from orbit, and the hematite ridge, which is made up of continuous layers.
This image, taken NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows distinct bands of alternating tone and brightness within the 'Murray Formation' on Mars. Outcrops like this are common throughout the formation.
This is a map of lower Mount Sharp on Mars, showing the major geologic units identified from orbit. The rocks of the 'Murray Formation,' mapped in green, likely represent the oldest layers of Mount Sharp that NASA's Curiosity rover will explore.
Data from the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity show an unusual enrichment of silicon in the rocks dubbed 'Wildrose' and 'Bonanza King,' relative to other rocks studied at Gale Crater on Mars.
The 'Bonanza King' rock on Mars, pictured here, was tapped by the drill belonging to NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. The tapping resulted in sand piling up on the rock after drilling, showing the rock was not firmly in place.