Nasa reveals a surprise on Mars in before and after images
NASA's Curiosity rover went silent in September after it encountered a technical problem. It's now back online and the rover's position on Mars hasn't changed, but the view of the surface nearby has.
Melissa Rice, a member of the Curiosity mission team, posted a rover update, "there were some surprises in store for us!"
A view of the rover's location before the break in transmissions shows an aborted drilling operation that left grey dust across the red landscape. The new images from late October shows the same spot clean of the debris and swept of the brown soil that was there before.
"So while Curiosity has been sitting still, the winds have been moving, sweeping the workspace clean," Rice writes.
The Curiosity team will take close-up images of the cleaned area to investigate details in the rock, particularly the lighter veins "peppered with interesting dark inclusions."