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NASA's Mars 360-Degree Video Shows Earth-Like Formations and Landscape

Aug 24, 2016 08:48 AM EDT
First Color Pictures Of Mars Rover Released
Experts say that the Martian terrain seen in the Mars 360-degree video is similar to Earth's landscape.
(Photo : NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ Cornell University via Getty Images)

Mars alert! The debate on Mars habitability has been ongoing for a long time now. Some say it can harbor life while some don't believe it can. But one thing is for sure, Mars possesses attributes that are similar to the Earth's landscape.

NASA recently released a 360-degree video of Mars showing the Murray Buttes. Buttes are rock formations that were formed naturally with the youngest type of material sitting on top of the formation.  One distinct object on the video is the "Murray Buttes" that are almost 50 feet high and 300 meters wide, according to TechTimes

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover captured the said video. Aside from the fascinating view that it offers, scientists recognized that the Martian surface has Earth-like properties. Curiosity's Mast Camera (MastCam) captured the panoramic image of the terrain near Mount Sharp on Aug. 5, during the fourth year anniversary of its landing on the Gale Crater.

Prominent features of the terrain are buttes and eroded mesas. Experts say these are similar to the terrain and landscape of the U.S. Southwest. The rock formations looklike it was taken from Earth and in Arizona, some scientists say. The only difference is that the rock formations on the red planet are resistant the harsh weather on the planet.

"The buttes and mesas are capped with rock that is relatively resistant to wind erosion.  This helps preserve these monumental remnants of a layer that were more fully covered that the underlying layer that the rover is now driving on," a NASA official said in a press release.

But despite Mars' Earth-like appearance, it doesn't mean that the planet can host human life. However, the images captured by NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover provide vital information in the agency's attempt to send human crew to the red planet in the near future.


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