Robot Selfies

The Curiosity rover shows off a new selfie on Mars

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You know NASA’s Curiosity rover is a millennial because it loves to take selfies.

NASA

Curiosity took the first self portrait on another planet back in 2012.

Curiosity took its latest selfie, on the 2,922nd Martian day (sol) of its mission to study the Red Planet.

NASA

Curiosity is currently studying a site named “Mary Anning,” celebrating the 19th century paleontologist.

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The camera at the end of Curiosity’s “selfie stick” is actually used for science most of the time.

NASA

It’s called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (or MAHLI) and Curiosity uses it to take up close pictures of sand grains and rock textures.

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Sort of like how a human geologist on Earth peers through a magnifying glass at a rock.

To take the selfie, Curiosity simply turns MAHLI towards itself and takes multiple images from many points of view.

Then image processors at NASA combine these images, remove the robotic arm, and voila, you have a selfie.

NASA's newest Mars rover, Perseverance, will land on Mars in February 2021. And because it's built similarly to Curiosity, presumably it will also be able to take selfies.

Here's to many more years of robot selfies!

Read more space stories here.

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