Space

How does Curiosity take a selfie?

selfie

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity often sends us back selfies of it’s self on the surface of Mars – but how exactly does it take the picture with no arm in the shot?

The picture you’re seeing above isn’t just one photo – it’s actually made up of dozens of smaller images, which are then stitched together to create one, much larger photo.

Curiosity’s camera arm is also 2 meters long and is similar to a human arm, having joints like an elbow, which allows it to bend the arm behind the camera out of view, as the below graphic shows.

selfie-arm

This enables Curiosity to take each photo with no arm in sight, and when they’re all finally stitched together, you get the fantastic selfie at the top of this page.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put together a great video on YouTube showing an animation of exactly how the entire process works;