PHOTO: NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Has a Bigger Selfie Stick Than You Do

Don't be jealous, but the Mars rover’s selfie stick is bigger and fancier than yours. The rover used its arm and camera ensemble to take a selfie on January 23 on the Red Planet's Vera Rubin Ridge.

If you want to get technical, the rover doesn’t really have a selfie stick—but it does have a “hand lens” sitting on the end of Curiosity’s seven-foot-long arm. (For comparison, The Wirecutter's 2015 pick for the best selfie stick was just 45.5 inches, or just under four feet, long.) And the selfie isn’t really a selfie, either. It’s actually a mosaic of dozens of selfies, NASA wrote on its website.

But what it does show is at least as illuminating as an average, Earth-based selfie. This one shows where Curiosity will be heading next.

curiosity selfie This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle on Vera Rubin Ridge, which it has been investigating for the past several months. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“Directly behind the rover is the start of a clay-rich slope scientists are eager to begin exploring. In coming weeks, Curiosity will begin to climb this slope,” NASA wrote on its website.

Even further behind the rover is Mount Sharp, a mountain more than 3 miles high. NASA stated the mountain was photobombing the rover’s shot. (Whether the mountain intended to encroach on the rover’s snap is up for debate.)

One thing you can't see in the selfie is any evidence of the arm itself. It's positioned out of the shot, NASA explains, by moving the rover's turret and the arm's "wrist." 

The rover has posted other selfies before, mostly for context at places where it collected samples. But Curiosity is getting pretty good at them. Another recent picture has some very artsy angles—all it’s missing, really, is a duck face.

For the record, there are selfie sticks longer than Curiosity’s here on Earth. The one that holds the world record was over 59 feet long when it was measured in September 2017, according to the Guinness World Records’ website.

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