Pic Source : NASA
Before Curiosity landed on Mars, scientists divided
its potential landing zone into 151 "quadrangles"
measuring about 1 mile on a side. Curiosity landed
on quadrangle 51, which is now known as Yellowknife.
The patch of Mars where NASA's Curiosity rover touched down Sunday night (Aug. 5) has a name: Yellowknife.
The moniker is a tribute to the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories, a city that has long served as the jumping-off point for geologists interested in studying North America's oldest rocks, scientists said.
"If you ask, 'What is the port of call you leave from to go on the great missions of geological mapping to the oldest rocks in North America?' — it's Yellowknife," Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger, of Caltech in Pasadena, told reporters Friday (Aug. 10).