The prominent circular structure in this image – taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – has been called Jezero Crater. It is the chosen landing site of the Mars 2020 mission, and as such a focus of frequent observation from above.
The image has been artificially coloured by NASA staff, but those colours correspond to different types of sediments – notably, clays and carbonates – carried through channels carved billions of years ago when Mars boasted plenty of water.
Originally published by Cosmos as Taking aim, preparing for landing
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.