NASA’s Mars rovers have been sending shots of the Red Planet back for years now, but selfies are always a little bit special.
This one’s a snap of Curiosity at the top of the “Mojave” site, where it’s been collecting samples of Mount Sharp. But who’s holding the camera? (Which technically, doesn’t make it a selfie.)
It’s actually made up of “dozens” of images taken in January by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of its robotic arm. The resolution is stunning in the full image which can be seen here (from 225 million kilometres away).
Here’s NASA’s explanation:
The view does not include the rover’s robotic arm. Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic’s component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images, or portions of images, that were used in this mosaic.
The outcrop surrounding the rover has been named the “Pahrump Hills”. It’s drilling 1.6cm holes in the rock and will analyse the rock powder.
Curiosity’s sent back an average of one selfie a year since 2012. Here’s how they’ve evolved (and how much dustier Curiosity has got):
“Rocknest Wind Drift” – between October 31 and November 16, 2012:
Rock target “John Klein” – February 3 – May 10 – 2013.
“Windjana” – April-May, 2014.
And just to keep the dream alive, here’s a pic from September 2012 that UFO Sightings Daily recently examined a little more closely and found “a shadow of a human-like being messing with the Mars Curiosity rover”.
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