After a tense year and a half since the Mars Perseverance Rover landed on our nearest planetary neighbour,
The rover, which is roughly the size of a car and carries seven scientific instruments, has been exploring Mars' 30-mile-wide
the rover's ground-penetrating radar instrument, are unexpectedly inclined in a paper published today in the journal Science
The inclined sections' slopes, thicknesses, and shapes indicate that they were either formed by slowly cooling lava or deposited as sediments in the former lake
Perseverance is currently exploring a delta on the crater's western edge, where a river once fed the lake, leaving behind a large deposit of dirt and rocks
The fact that they are tilted in this manner necessitates a more complicated geologic history.
They could have formed when molten rock rose to the surface, or they could be remnants of an older delta deposit buried beneath the crater floor.