On February 18, 2021, the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will land in Jezero crater and begin its search for signs of previous life on Mars. You can help the Perseverance rover explore its new home with the Jezero crater coloring activity!
Coloring activity: Explore Jezero Crater with the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover
When planetary scientists create a geologic map, they identify unique groups of rocks and sediments called geologic units. Each geologic unit is assigned its own color to make it easy to identify across the map. Geologic units provide clues to planetary scientists and help tell the story of how an area was created and changed through time. This coloring activity, created by members of the USGS Astrogeology team, focuses on the landing site for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, and recreates a section of the recently published USGS Scientific Investigations Map of Jezero crater and the Nili Planum Region, Mars by Vivian Sun and Kathryn Stack (2020).
Working with and creating geologic maps is a fundamental process in geology and planetary science, and often involves coloring. “In the field, scientists sometimes will take paper maps with them and color different types of rocks and soils on the map, so they can remember where they found them,” said Astrogeology Pathways Intern, Lori Pigue. “Learning how to interpret where different rocks and soils are on a map is an important geologic skill, and sometimes this is the first step in learning how to make a geologic map!”
In this activity, you will learn about the different geologic units that are in and around the Perseverance rover landing site. Each of these units has been identified and interpreted using data collected from orbit, but planetary scientists will learn more about them in the upcoming weeks and months as Perseverance explores them up close. This geologic map will help provide context for the on-the-ground observations, allowing planetary scientists to expand them to other rocks which are beyond the reach of the rover itself.
To explore the full interactive map of Jezero crater and Nili Planum, visit the USGS Astrogeology Planetary Mapping website.
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