Curiosity fits New Mars Selfie before setting course for new location



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The Curiosity rover has made history after covering most of the soil on another planet and helping scientists rebuild the geological history of Mars. Although it has covered more than 12 miles (almost 20 kilometers), Curiosity has been touring the Vera Rubin Ridge for more than a year. He's getting ready to leave, but NASA took the time to take a selfie first.

Curiosity's new selfie shows the rover sitting on the rust-colored ground, looking at the camera with his "head." What we commonly consider to be the rover's head is actually a box for the Mastcam and ChemCam instruments. The fog on the horizon is thanks to a local dust storm – nothing as serious as the global event that probably condemned the Opportunity Rover last year. NASA took selfie on January 15, but that is actually a composition of many images, like all the selfies of Curiosity.

The image shows Curiosity still looking good after more than six years on the red planet. It's a bit dusty, and you can see damage on your wheels from the unexpected Martian rocks. Still, NASA hopes Curiosity will stay on track for many years.

NASA uses the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to take these pictures. It captures images in real color with a resolution of 1600 x 1200. The image released by NASA is much larger than that, because it is assembled from 57 different frames. That's why the final image has incredible detail and you can not see the MAHLI arm anywhere. NASA uses all the pictures to cut off the arm, making it look like someone was standing next to the rover and took a picture.

Self-portrait of curiosity, compiled from 55 MAHLI images. Rocknest on the left, Mount Sharp on the rigth.

See how Curiosity was cleaned in 2012.

Vera Rubin Ridge was the 19th drilling site of Curiosity on Mars. You can see the small hole "Rock Hall" directly in front of the rover. Now the rover is taking its drill to a "clay rolling unit" located south of the ridge. Clay minerals may contain clues to help us learn more about the ancient lakes that once covered the land around Mount Sharp.

You can see a larger version of the new selfie Curiosity here, and you can get the full resolution version on NASA's website. They are 23 MB and about 10,000 pixels square. You should be able to reduce it to the size you want, but NASA also has some pre-cut wallpaper downloads in common resolutions.

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