This image shows the Highfield drill hole, on Vera Rubin Ridge in Gale crater on Mars, made by NASA’s Curiosity rover. Just recently, scientists announced that an analysis of rock samples collected by the rover were enriched in carbon 12, a type of carbon that on Earth is associated with biological processes.

While the finding is intriguing, it doesn’t necessarily point to ancient life on Mars, as scientists have not yet found conclusive supporting evidence of ancient or current biology there, such as sedimentary rock formations produced by ancient bacteria, or a diversity of complex organic molecules formed by life.

The image of this drill hole was taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager of the Curiosity rover on the 2,247th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.


Image credits: NASA/Caltech-JPL/MSSS