10th November 2017 Sol 1871 – Scottish Quadrangle on Mars

The field area for Curiosity along its traverse (currently nearly 18 km) is divided into a series of map qaudrangles. Each of these has outcrop and feature names based on a region of Earth e.g. South Africa, Maine etc. We are just about to move into a Scottish quad. With colleagues in our Participating Scientist team and the wider team we have been gathering hundreds of names from Scottish places which represent a significant locality for geology and planetary science. Suggested names for the quadrangle include Siccar Point on the Berwickshire coast. It was from studying Siccar Point in 1788 that James Hutton realised the significance of unconformities and what they can tell us about geological time and the age of the Earth, leading to the theory of Uniformitarianism. Siccar Point is still directly relevant to Mars exploration and MSL as we see unconformities in Gale Crater and seek to piece together martian geological evolution. Other place names are the Skara Brae Neolithic settlement – a World UNESCO heritage site; Stac Fada – a meteorite impact deposit on the NW coast of Scotland; and Torridon the locality of the oldest UK sediments. In our daily science operations we names new localities and targets, and I will enjoy using names of places that I have visited and studied in Scotland on Mars!



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About jbridges

This blog is a record of my experiences and work during the Mars Science Laboratory mission, from the preparation, landing on August 5th 2012 Pacific Time, and onwards... I will also post updates about our other Mars work on meteorites, ExoMars and new missions. You can also follow the planetary science activities with @LeicsPlanets Professor John Bridges, School of Physics and Astronomy

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