A Sol 61 raw image from Curiosity's left navigation camera, at http://1.usa.gov/OMDbxy, shows where the soil collected by the scoop was removed from the ground. The scoop leaves a hole 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide.
The rover's ability to put scooped and sieved samples of soil into on board laboratory instruments is an important part of the mission. Those instruments -- Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) -- will play crucial roles in evaluating whether the study area has ever had a favorable environment for microbial life. Still to be used for the first time is the rover's capability to take powdered samples from rocks, using a percussive drill, for delivery to those same instruments.
Sol 61, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 11:44 p.m. Oct. 7, PDT (2:44 a.m. Oct. 8, EDT).