Self Portrait 1, by the Mars Curiosity Rover (a Work in Progress)

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marsselfie615.jpg

NASA

Hold a camera above your head, rotate your arm, snap your surroundings, and you'll get a fish-eye picture of your surroundings... and also, the top of your head. That's exactly what the Mars Rover Curiosity has done here, taken a sort of self portrait through a composite of images taken with its camera pointing either down or out.

The most interesting thing here? When, some day, you see this picture in a museum, it'll be of a much higher resolution. Only two of the composite shots in *this* image are at their fullest, highest-resolution. The rest are thumbnails, and the true image will be pieced together over time, as the better versions of all these shots are sent back over the meager bandwidth our Mars connection allows.

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Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

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