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The Most Incredible Photo Of The Mars Curiosity Landing

It's not very big, and it might not look like much, but this photo, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite, captures the Curiosity as it's parachuting to the surface. I've never seen anything like this before.

Posted on August 6, 2012, at 11:58 a.m. ET

I did what I could to enhance this one — the original is pretty tiny. But man, still.

Now that the image has leaked out, we can post it too... MRO captures #MSL http://t.co/zK7iTCjX

Now that the image has leaked out, we can post it too... MRO captures #MSL http://t.co/zK7iTCjX-- MSL Curiosity

Here's an explanation of what exactly we're looking at here:

View this video on YouTube

The photo was taken between the parachute deployment phase and the backshell separation stage, as far as I can tell.

Updated with a high-res shot:

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