<p><strong>After landing safely on <a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/photos/mars/">Mars</a> last month, <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html">NASA</a>'s <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120806-mars-rover-jpl-landing-nasa-curiosity-science-space-photos/">Curiosity</a> rover (right) has begun its journey to a nearby canyon. Captured by the <a href="http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/">Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter</a> from high above the red planet, this color-enhanced image, released Thursday, shows Curiosity's tracks.</strong></p><p>The orbiter's high-powered cameras were designed to detect even slight details on the planet's surface. The <a href="http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/explorer/videos/the-sky-crane/">sky crane</a> that lowered Curiosity onto Mars threw up enough dust that scientists back on Earth can now see a darker, more mysterious rocky substrate below-the blueish spots at center.</p><p>(Related: <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120806-mars-landing-curiosity-rover-nasa-jpl-science/">"Mars Rover Landing a Success—What Happens Now?"</a>)</p><p><em>—Daniel Stone</em></p>

Mars Tracks

After landing safely on Mars last month, NASA's Curiosity rover (right) has begun its journey to a nearby canyon. Captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from high above the red planet, this color-enhanced image, released Thursday, shows Curiosity's tracks.

The orbiter's high-powered cameras were designed to detect even slight details on the planet's surface. The sky crane that lowered Curiosity onto Mars threw up enough dust that scientists back on Earth can now see a darker, more mysterious rocky substrate below-the blueish spots at center.

(Related: "Mars Rover Landing a Success—What Happens Now?")

—Daniel Stone

Image courtesy ASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Space Pictures This Week: Mars Tracks, Auroras, More

NASA's Curiosity rover stretches its legs (and an arm), auroras outshine the moon, and more in this week's best space pictures.

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