The Hazcam on the space rover sent images with pebbles all over the ground underneath its wheels, and an image of the horizon which contained some type of blotch that was very distinctive. Two hours later, when another set of images were sent, the blotch was gone.
The blotch and its disappearance have scientists wondering what it was and what happened to it. There are various opinions such as dust that was kicked up or the planned landing of Curiosity’s carriage.
One theory put forth is that Curiosity had somehow snapped a photo of part of the spacecraft that escorted the rover through the Martian atmosphere crash-landing a distance away.
“The photo shows the aftermath of the landing in the vast Gale crater, during which the rover was lowered to the surface on cables attached to the hovering Sky Crane,” writes SPACE.com reporter Clara Moskowitz. “Around Curiosity’s landing spot, dark streaks can be seen where the bright dust of the Martian surface has been disturbed by the rover’s descent hardware.”
Scientist and others may never know exactly what the blotch was and why it appeared. It is probably one of many mysteries as Mars is explored.
Of course, the internet is buzzing with specualtion.