NASA's first HD photos from Mars

Martian landscape similar to Grand Canyon
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The Curiosity rover has beamed back its first HD colour images from the red planet.

Using a 100mm Mast Camera zoom lens, curiosity has taken some breathtaking photos of the Martian landscape.

Curiosity successfully landed on Mars on August 6th and will remain there for the next two years gathering data, and hopefully beaming back more impressive photos.

NASA has pointed out that the photos show a landscape surprisingly similar to the Grand Canyon.

“The higher layers are steeply slanted relative to the layers of underlying rock, the reverse of similar features found in Earth's Grand Canyon,” commented project scientist John Grotzinger.

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“The layers are tilted in the Grand Canyon due to plate tectonics, so it's typical to see older layers be more deformed and more rotated than the ones above them.

"In this case, you have flat-line layers on Mars overlaid by tilted layers."

The HD photographs come from the base of Mars’ Mount Sharp where scientists will research into whether water once flowed there.

This is NASA’s first astrobiology mission since the 1970s.

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