NASA’s rover on Mars reaches a new area called ‘Bright Angel’

NASA’s Perseverance rover captures the view of 'Bright Angel' on Mars
NASA’s Perseverance rover captures the view of ‘Bright Angel’ on Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Perseverance rover reached a new area on Mars on June 9, 2024, which scientists nicknamed “Bright Angel.”

Bright Angel is located at the base of the northern wall of an ancient river channel called Neretva Vallis.

This river channel is located in Mars’ Jezero crater, where NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on February 18, 2021.

Scientists think that Jezero crater received fresh water billions of years ago through this river channel.

The area nicknamed ‘Bright Angel’ gave the science team an opportunity to find exciting geologic features within the ancient river channel.

“Bright Angel features rocky, light-toned outcrops that may represent either ancient rock exposed by river erosion or sediments that filled the channel,” according to NASA.

Perseverance's Path to 'Bright Angel' in Mars' Jezero Crater
Perseverance’s Path to ‘Bright Angel’ in Mars’ Jezero Crater. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures this image. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

The Perseverance rover started its journey in late January, paralleling the Neretva Vallis river channel (depicted in white) and then inside the river channel (depicted in pale blue) to reach the area of Bright Angel.

However, the plenty of bigger boulders on its way reduced the rover’s motion from about a hundred meters per Martian day to only tens of meters. This causes the rover to be late in reaching Bright Angel.

Currently, NASA’s Perseverance rover is analyzing a rocky outcrop of the Bright Angel to assess whether a rock core sample should be collected.

NASA’s Perseverance team is also eager to travel through the ancient river channel because they want to investigate ancient Martian river processes.

Please remember that NASA, in partnership with ESA (European Space Agency), has a plan to collect Perseverance’s samples and bring them back to Earth through the Mars Sample Return Mission.

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Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of

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