posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 06:37 AM
In tracking nomenclature what you are seeing is called dulling. It is the result of the fine particulates being churned up in such a way that the
surface is not compacted like what you see next to it and consequently there is no reflective quality (or alternately it absorbs most of the
Think of it this way; in a tightly packed surface the particles are close together and in this case they appear shiny, if they are packed loosely
together then there are many cracks in the surface that trap the light.
Go step in sand or freshly churned earth and you can see the phenomenon for yourself.
The differences in appearance are due to changes in speed or direction by Curiosity's wheels.
As for why it is sticking to the wheels most sand is composed of fine quartzite crystals, as crystals have a positive and negative polarity to them
which can be increased with heat or pressure they are being possibly attracted to the steel belting in the tires or metals in the wheel and
edit on 11-9-2012 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)