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Curiosity data shows Gale Crater once a lake
Posted: Wed, Dec 10, 2014, 9:31 AM ET (1431 GMT)
Gale Crater as lake (NASA) Data collected by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has led scientists to conclude that the crater the rover is exploring was once a lake whose sediments built up the crater's central peak. Project scientists, analyzing data about sedimentary rocks obtained by Curiosity, said that they believe the crater repeatedly filled with water, which later evaporated, early in the planet's history. That process left sediments later sculpted by winds into the mountain at the center of Gale Crater. Curiosity is examining rocks at the base of that mountain, unofficially called Mount Sharp, and plans to drive up the mountain in the next several years to examine other rock layers.
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