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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Curiosity MAHLI self-portrait, sol 84

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, best of, spacecraft, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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Curiosity MAHLI self-portrait, sol 84 An amazing color self-portrait photo of Curiosity standing on Mars, on sol 84 (October 31, 2012). The photo is a mosaic of images shot with MAHLI, the camera on the end of the robotic arm. Although MAHLI is mostly intended as a tool for viewing soil and rocks up close at microscopic resolution, it can focus out to infinity so can be used to photograph things at any distance.


MAHLI is located on the turret at the end of the robotic arm. That turret can be seen reflected in two places on the rover's "head". The large primary mirror of the ChemCam telescope (the Cyclopean eye in the top of the mast) contains an upside-down image of the turret. The lens on one of the Navcams reflects a mirror image of the turret.

MAHLI images itself imaging the rover

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Emily Lakdawalla

MAHLI images itself imaging the rover

A preliminary version of the same portrait is projected slightly differently, resulting in less distortion of the rover but significant curvature of the horizon:

Preliminary version of Curiosity sol 84 self-portrait


Preliminary version of Curiosity sol 84 self-portrait

Original image data dated on or about October 31, 2012.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.


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Larry: 11/09/2012 07:24 CST

I don't see how this pic is real. There is no break in the landscape showing any kind of extension from the robot which could take this picture of itself. There must be some kind of unattached unit taking the pic. Can you explain?

claudioNC: 11/10/2012 04:31 CST

Here you can see the perfect composition, with zero stitching error I have made using Sol 84 and Sol 85 shots:!i=2206839052&k=nxJNFc4

Emily: 11/13/2012 05:58 CST

I can't figure out other ways to explain this. Does this help? The only other thing I can suggest is that you hold your digital camera and try to take a self portrait of yourself with multiple images covering your whole body. How much of your arm do you see?

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