PetaPixel

An Arm’s-Length Self-Portrait Captured Millions of Miles Away

Facebook users here on Earth aren’t the only ones shooting arm’s-length self-portraits: NASA’s Curiosity rover over on Mars is doing it as well! Curiosity captured the image above a couple of days ago using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), which is attached to an extendable robotic arm. The image is actually a composite of 55 separate photos shot using the 2-megapixel RGB color CCD camera.

If you’re wondering why the arm itself isn’t seen extending into the photo — as is seen when we humans capture this type of shot — it’s because the arm can rotate out of the frame for each of the 55 smaller sections of the image, resulting in a stitched image that doesn’t show the arm at all.

NASA writes,

The mosaic shows the rover at “Rocknest,” the spot in Gale Crater where the mission’s first scoop sampling took place. Four scoop scars can be seen in the regolith in front of the rover.

The base of Gale Crater’s 3-mile-high (5-kilometer) sedimentary mountain, Mount Sharp, rises on the right side of the frame. Mountains in the background to the left are the northern wall of Gale Crater. The Martian landscape appears inverted within the round, reflective ChemCam instrument at the top of the rover’s mast.

The space agency says that this type of self-portrait allows the scientists here on Earth to track the condition of the rover over time, since the MAHLI camera is the only one of the 17 cameras that can see certain parts of the craft.

You can find a higher-resolution version of the photo here.

(via NASA via DPReview)


Image credit: Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems


 
 
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Austin-Hoherd/576367461 Daniel Austin Hoherd

    But where is the arm?

  • Kimono

    I don’t get how this is a self portrait! What is holding the Camera??!!! Martians are coming.

  • Captain Obvious

    Try reading the article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.sluder John Sluder

    Thank god no duck face

  • http://blog.ahles.nl/ Patrick Ahles

    I guess you didn’t read the article either?

  • Urayoan Miranda

    At least no duck face.

  • Jung

    Ok, I read the article, but I still don’t understand why I do not see the little portion where the arm is joining the body…….??

  • brandon

    arm? forget the arm, look at the foot prints, frame left.

  • kyoshinikon

    2mpx? You put millions into a rover only to send it up with a sensor that is 6 years behind (now about 10 years behind)…

  • kyoshinikon

    Next time send a Hero3 up…

  • dogs

    if its a comp image, as well as removing the arm thay have managed to remove the shadow too – why on earth (mars) would they do that? for what purpose?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.allebrink Lars Allebrink

    They chose the 2mpx sensor because of the bandwidth limitations of transmitting from Mars

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.roberg Larry Roberg

    If you’re wondering why the arm itself isn’t seen extending into the
    photo — as is seen when we humans capture this type of shot — it’s
    because the arm can rotate out of the frame for each of the 55 smaller
    sections of the image, resulting in a stitched image that doesn’t show
    the arm at all.

  • brob

    did the Rover use this as his facebook profile pic?