Detailed analysis and review have borne out researchers’ initial interpretation of pebble-containing slabs that NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity investigated last year: They are part of an ancient stream bed.
The rocks are the first ever found on Mars that contain stream bed gravel. The sizes and shapes of the gravel embedded in these conglomerate rocks — from the size of sand particles to the size of golf balls — enabled researchers to calculate the depth and speed of the water that once flowed at this location.
To learn more about the challenges the Mars Science Laboratory team faced during Curiosity’s landing, also known as the “seven minutes of terror”, check out NASA Now: Forces and Motion: Curiosity—Entry, Descent and Landing. You can access this classroom video on the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus.
To read more about this discovery by Curiosity on Mars, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20130530f.html