Tech by VICE

The Curiosity Mars Rover Is Such a Narcissist

When your selfies look this good, who could blame you for being a little vain?

by Daniel Oberhaus
Feb 7 2016, 5:00pm

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

One of the most important criteria for taking the perfect selfie is the location, which is probably why the Curiosity Mars Rover's selfies always turn out so great. Although the rover's self-portraits lack the ironic punch of taking a selfie in the bathroom of your local metro mall, they still get major style points because, well, they're taken on the surface of a different planet.

In this regard, Curiosity's latest selfie didn't disappoint. Taken on January 19, the rover's 1,228th Martian day, and released by NASA on January 29, the new photo is actually a composite of 57 images. It shows the rover digging for samples in the Namib Dune, part of the dark-sand Bagnold Dune field which runs along the northwestern edge of Mount Sharp.The image was taken using the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager, although this robotic arm is not seen in the photo because it was positioned out of the frame in the images that were ultimately used to compile the final mosaic. It's no selfie stick, but it does the job.

While it's easy to get annoyed with the shameless vanity of our friends when our social media feeds are overrun with selfies, one can hardly get mad at Curiosity for indulging its narcissism. After all, when your selfies look this good, who could blame you for being a little vain?