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Photos: Spectacular Mars Vistas by NASA's Curiosity Rover

Slopes and Buttes

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

Some parts of Mars look a lot like Earth. For example, these new photos of rock formations on the red planet resemble Arizona's Grand Canyon. NASA's Mars Curiosity rover took this photo of sloping buttes and layered outcrops on Mars as it exited the "Murray Buttes" region at the base of Mount Sharp on Sept. 9, 2016. [Read our full story here: Red Planet Hike: Mars Looks Like National Park in Awesome New Pics]

Steep Outcrops

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

Curiosity got close to this outcrop in the Murray Buttes region of lower Mount Sharp, where the on-board Mastcam instrument captured this photo revealing fine layers in the rock formation. [Curiosity Rover's Panoramic View of Mount Sharp]

Cross-Bedding

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

This view of Mars from NASA's Curiosity rover shows a dramatically steep hillside outcrop with stacks of angled sandstone layers that scientists refer to as "cross-bedding." ['Whale Rock' on Mars Shows Signs of Ancient Lake (Photo)]

Rocky Hillsides

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

The Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity rover snapped this photo of a sloping hillside in the Murray Buttes region of lower Mount Sharp on Sept. 8, 2016. The rim of Gale Crater, Curiosity's landing site, is visible in the distance. [VIDEO: Death Valley, Earth and Gale Crater Mars - What In Common?]

Layers of Martian History

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

The Curiosity rover viewed sloping buttes and layered outcrops on Mars as it exited the "Murray Buttes" region on Sept. 9, 2016. [Mars Rock Pile Shows a Layered History]

How Curiosity Explores Mars

karl Tate, SPACE.com

The nuclear-powered mobile science laboratory Curiosity has been roving across the surface of Mars since 2012, searching for the conditions that may have once made Mars an abode of life. Here's what it has to take such amazing photos. See how NASA's Mars rover Curiosity works in this Space.com infographic.

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Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.