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NASA's Mars Curiosity rover looks down on its wheel track, revealing sand grains beneath the surface of a shallow, rippled sand dune.

Rover Track in Sand Sheet Near Martian Sand Dune

A wheel track left by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover exposes underlying material in a shallow sand sheet in this view from Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam). The site is close to a large sand dune of similarly dark sand grains.

The component images of this mosaic view were taken on Dec. 2, 2015, during the 1,181st Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The scene is presented with a color adjustment that approximates white balancing, to resemble how the sand would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth. Figure A includes a superimposed scale bar of 50 centimeters (20 inches).

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover's Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. For more information about Curiosity, visit and

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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