Nasa's Curiosity Rover takes incredible selfie in the middle of a dust storm on Mars

Mail Online | 11/26/2011 | Tim Collins For Mailonline
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An incredible image of Nasa's Curiosity Rover taken against the backdrop of a raging dust storm on Mars covering more than a quarter of the planet has been sent back to Earth.

The rover’s self-portrait was taken almost six years into its mission, from its current location in the Gale Crater, a 96-mile-wide (154 kilometres) valley once thought to have been a huge lake.

Haze - Particles - Mountains - Outcroppings - Background

However, a thick haze of particles obscures the mountains and rocky outcroppings that should be visible in the background of the snapshot.

Curiosity is weathering the storm, thanks to its plutonium fuel source, which means it doesn't rely on the sun's rays to power its operations.

NASA - Veteran - Opportunity - Rover - Midst

The same cannot be said for NASA's veteran Opportunity rover, which has been hunkering down in the midst of the unprecedented dust storm that experts say will become a 'planet-circling event.'

The image was shared on Flickr by citizen scientist Seán Doran, who works with NASA'S Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena California to process its astronomical photography.

Composite - Shots - £1 - Research - Vehicle

It is a composite of various shots taken by the £1.8 billion ($2.5 billion) research vehicle, processed by Mr Doran.

Viewers were quick to note the lack of a 'selfie stick' type arm apparatus to allow the unique image to be created.

Effect - Mr - Doran - 'It - Shot

When asked how he achieved the effect, Mr Doran said: 'It's blended out of the shot. The arm moves around as it takes about 100 images to make a full 360 (degree image).'

While Curiosity seems to be weathering the storm, Opportunity fell silent on June 12, when engineers attempted to make contact with the 15-year-old rover but did not hear back.

Press - Conference - June - Scientists - Opportunity

In a press conference on June 13, scientists involved in the Opportunity mission confirmed the rover has 'fallen asleep' as it waits out the storm that has blocked the sun - effectively cutting off its power supply.

(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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