Window into the past

contributed by Sanna Alwmark

My personal interests control this pick from Mastcam-Z Sol 32. The reason is that I love the combination of things here. I love how that delta remnant is sitting there off in the distant as a witness of a wet, completely different from today, environment long gone, how we can see that it consists of various types of materials. It’s sitting there in front of the fantastic crater rim. A crater rim that is soooooo much more well preserved than anything I’ve ever seen on Earth for a complex crater. I’m so eager to see what we will learn from going up there. It’s this mountain chain thing sort of that formed when energy release corresponding to something like a million atom bombs was released instantly to form this huge hole in the ground that was then gravitationally modified to form what we see today (minus some erosion of course). And thanks to that event 3.8-3.9 billion years ago a lake that potentially hosted life could form in this place. And then the final thing that I want to highlight here are the rover tracks. We’re actually there, and we get to continue this drive to pursue all of the fantastic science goals of the mission, continue to get ZCAM images to learn about environments and processes in a distant past. It sort of makes ZCAM that window that we can use to “look into the past”.

March 23, 2021

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