Mars: NASA’s Curiosity Rover Shows 360-Degree Images of Planet Looking Like Earth
The relatively flat foreground is part of a geological layer called the Murray formation, which formed from lakebed mud deposits. The buttes and mesas rising above this surface are eroded remnants of ancient sandstone that originated when winds deposited sand after lower Mount Sharp had formed. Curiosity closely examined that layer — the Stimson formation — during the first half of 2016 while crossing a feature called “Naukluft Plateau” between two exposures of the Murray formation.
The rover’s location when its Mastcam acquired the component images of this scene was the site it reached in its Sol 1417 drive. (See map athttp://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7963.)