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Mars Rover Discovers Signs of Ancient Stream

Scientists say NASA’s newest Mars rover has found signs that a stream once flowed across the surface near the site where it landed.

NASA's Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named "Hottah" after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
NASA’s Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named “Hottah” after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

Curiosity touched down in a crater near the Martian equator last month. The red planet today is dusty and dry but scientists think it was once warmer and wetter.

Evidence of an ancient stream came from analyzing the size and shapes of pebbles and gravel near Gale Crater. Mission scientists said Thursday it appeared the water was fast-moving and deep.

Images from space have provided hints of a watery past at Curiosity’s landing site. The latest discovery on the ground confirms that.

Curiosity is headed toward a spot where three types of terrain meet. Its ultimate destination is a mountain rising from the center of the crater.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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