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Scientists use rover's navigational sensors to measure Mars' gravity

Scientists use rover's navigational sensors to measure Mars' gravity

Science
Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Scientists were able to map Mars' gravity by repurposing data collected by the Curiosity rover's navigational sensors. After realizing Curiosity's accelerometers can be used like gravimeters when the rover is at a standstill, scientists surveyed navigational data collected during the mission's first five years. Researchers were able to plot changes in the Red Planet's gravity along the path the rover took as it ascended Mount Sharp. The new gravity data allowed scientists to estimate the density of the underlying rock along the rover's route. Gravity is weaker on the slopes of Mount Sharp than scientists expected, suggesting the sedimentary rock that forms the mountain isn't all that dense. "The lower levels of Mount Sharp are surprisingly porous," Kevin Lewis of Johns Hop...