Data collected by the rover's meteorological instruments indicates significant dust devil activity.
Mars is well known for its dust storms, sometimes these can become large enough to encompass the entire planet for days. While it hasn't caught any on camera, Curiosity has recorded evidence that smaller vortices have been appearing nearby and that the rover itself may have been run over by one.
"A dust-devil looks essentially like what you would expect from the movies - a tiny tornado that is lifting dust," said NASA scientist Manuel de la Torre Juarez. "Understanding these phenomena is very important because the Martian climate is driven largely by its dust cycle."
"Curiosity has spent several weeks now parked at a sand dune dubbed "Rocknest", where it has been testing procedures for digging up soil samples and delivering them to the robot's big internal laboratories."
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Source: BBC News
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