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updated: 9/27/2012 3:45 PM

Mars rover Curiosity finds signs of ancient stream

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  • Associated Press/NASAThe robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity with the first rock touched by an instrument on the arm.

      Associated Press/NASAThe robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity with the first rock touched by an instrument on the arm.

 
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Scientists say NASA's newest Mars rover has found signs that a stream once flowed across the surface near the site where it landed.

Curiosity touched down in a crater near the Martian equator last month. The red planet today is dusty and dry but scientists think it was once warmer and wetter.

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Evidence of an ancient stream came from analyzing the size and shapes of pebbles and gravel near Gale Crater. Mission scientists said Thursday it appeared the water was fast-moving and deep.

Images from space have provided hints of a watery past at Curiosity's landing site. The latest discovery on the ground confirms that.

Curiosity is headed toward a spot where three types of terrain meet. Its ultimate destination is a mountain rising from the center of the crater.

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