Curiosity Sees Bizarre Spikes On Mars

Curiosity landed in Mars' Gale Crater in August 2012 and began searching for signs of life. The rover discovered crater was originally a lakebed with several methane spikes.

The rover has taken photos of unusual terrain characteristics, several of which went viral. These photographs illustrate that pareidolia is alive and well on Mars.

On Sol 3474 (May 15, 2022), Curiosity's Mastcam snapped an image of spikes on the ground.

The prongs are probably sedimentary rock that survived erosion, consistent with previous Curiosity data showing erosion and sedimentary deposits in Gale Crater.

Gale Crater was once a lakebed, according to Curiosity's evidence.

During the Noachian epoch (4.1 to 3.7 billion years ago), Mars had a richer atmosphere, a warmer climate, and flowing water.

Water in Gale Crater formed sedimentary features like Mount Sharp's base. Mars has no water-borne erosion today, but dust storms can erode sedimentary rock faces.

Mars' atmosphere is too thin for intense lightning strikes that form fulgurites on Earth. Curiosity's discovery suggests they are statistically significant.

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