Curiosity Rover Beams Down Stunning Self-Portrait Panorama from Mars


When the Mars Rover Opportunity was nearing its 9th year in the Martian sun, we shared a beautiful panoramic landscape shot of the red planet taken by the aging rover. It makes sense then that Curiosity would eventually send down a panorama of its own. But just like you would expect from a younger generation of rover, it couldn’t help but make the pano a selfie.

In all seriousness, the portrait is gorgeous. Taken in the Yellowknife Bay region of Mars’ Gale Crater, it shows the rover perched on a flat pedestal know as “John Klein.” And if you look closely, you can even see the results of Curiosity’s first drilling activity a few inches in front of its front left tire.

It’s worth noting that Curiosity didn’t have to set up a tripod and figure out the self-timer on its camera in order to take this picture. It was taken with the same Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Mastcam that we’ve seen before. And just like in the last selfie Curiosity send down, the robotic arm has been left out.

You can (and should) check out the full res version by clicking on the photo at the top.

Image credits: Photography by NASA

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam!

  • muitosabao

    Unbelievably beautiful.

  • Ivor Wilson

    Totally amazing. Mind-blowing, that we’re now doing this stuff on A.N.O.T.H.E.R. P.L.A.N.E.T. !!!

  • Daniel Appleton

    Amazing how certain areas of Mars look like the US southwest. Or the Gobi desert would be more appropriate. Anyway – Go Curiosity !!

  • Duke Shin

    No duckface? Good.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Tsk, tsk. NASA spent 2.5 billion dollars to send that chunk of metal into space, but they couldn’t spare a few bucks for a proper bathroom mirror.

  • asdf

    I can’t believe there are still idiots like you that think they just make this stuff up for fun.

  • Alberto Monteraz

    Everyone who works in a project like this makes it also for fun, because if you are clever you love fun. Whats wrong if in an ordinary internet comment you just point that? You are a sad person indeed.

  • Neoracer Xox

    Nice, now can we get back to the science of finding past biological life. Seems they spend 99% of their time doing ‘other things’ instead of the actual science. Shouldn’t be surprised though they really dont wanna find any signs of past raises too many tricky questions..anyhoo! Back to Facebook mugging!!!

  • lidocaineus

    Are you serious? If you look at NASA’s schedule for rover time (what they use to divide up for experiments), the amount of time they use for quick fun things like this is about .05% – and this is the publicly listed stuff (I have many friends from grad school working on rover related projects and there’s even more stuff they don’t list). And you know what? While it has important experiments to run, any scientist worth his salt also like to sit back and just enjoy the spectacle from time to time.

  • Art Ross

    i just don’t get it, how can a camera take its own picture ?

  • Alexandra_8

    Ref. the last sentence of the third paragraph. Robotic arm.
    The coolest selfie I’ve ever seen.

  • Alexandra_8

    Great photo. I like how the scientists take a moment out of thier heavy researching to relate where they are and what they’re doing to the non-scientific human. To create wonder.