The Curiosity Rover keeps on trekking. An image captured by the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter offers a spectacular view of Curiosity's journey of discovery as it winds its way across the Red Planet.

With faint impressions of tracks from its six metal wheels trailing behind, Curiosity appears as a bright blue dot in the in the lower left quadrant of the image, near a 16-foot-high butte called "Mount Remarkable" (named after a mountain and national park in Australia). Here's a rover's eye view of the site:


Curiosity's science team refers to the rock layer surrounding the base of Mount Remarkable as the "middle unit" because its location is intermediate between rocks that form buttes in the area and lower-lying rocks that show a pattern of striations.

Depending on what the mission scientists learn from a close-up look at Mount Remarkable and identification of chemical elements in it, Curiosity might extract samples with its drill.


From there, it's onward toward the rover's ultimate scientific destination: the foothills of the 3.4-mile-high Mount Sharp, where scientists hope to find a geological record of Mars' changing environmental conditions over time.