This oblique view of Gale crater shows the landing site and the mound of layered rocks that MSL will investigate. Two canyons (marked by arrows) were cut in the mound through the layers containing the clay minerals and sulfate salts after deposition of the layers. These canyons, much like the Grand Canyon expose layers of rock representing tens or hundreds of millions of years of environmental change. The rover may be able to investigate these layers in the canyon closest to the landing ellipse, gaining access to a long history of environmental change on the planet.
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