We already know that NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover isn’t averse to displaying a touch of vanity by snapping high-definition self-portraits using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Curiosity’s latest selfie is even more impressive, combining 130 images taken in the first week of February to provide a 360-degree panorama of the Red Planet.
The panoramic self-portrait was taken in the Yellowknife Bay region of Gale Crater at a patch of flat, vein-bearing rock called "John Klein." This is where the 4X4-sized robot collected the first bedrock drill sample on Mars, with the shallow drill test hole and 1.6 cm (0.6 in) diameter sample collection hole clearly visible just by the foot of the rover.
What isn't visible is the extended arm holding the MAHLI, which was was positioned out of frame in the images, or parts of the images, that came together to form the mosaic. The mosaic combines 66 images taken by the rover’s MAHLI, with panoramic landscape shots taken by the rover’s 34-millimeter Mastcam making up the remainder.
An interactive version of the self-portrait panorama can also be viewed here.
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