NASA's Curiosity Rover Discovers Ancient Stream On Mars
Atta boy, Curiosity!
Images from space hinted that Curiosity might have landed near an alluvial fan where water flowed downhill, but evidence on the ground confirms that.
The rover found exactly what scientists expected to find at the site of an ancient stream at a site. The way that the rocks were formed near the rover hints at the site's watery past. But what really clinched it for scientists is the pebbles that Curiosity found at the site Hottah. They're rounded down, as if by the movement of something. But these rocks are big enough that wind probably didn't do it: that narrows it down to water.
We've posted a few images from NASA of the rocky sites themselves, a map of the rover's geological adventures and a site on Earth just for comparison.
Scientists had an idea that maybe the rover had landed near an alluvial fan where water flowed not long after it landed. The rover's descent stages blasted away a layer of rock material nearby revealing bedrock underneath at the site Goulburn.
Mission scientists told the Associated Press today that it appeared the stream was fast-moving and deep.