Ready for its closeup but all alone on Mars, NASA's rover Curiosity created this self-portrait on Halloween. The image was stitched together from 55 high-resolution shots snapped by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), perched on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm.
The pictures were taken at "Rocknest," the location in Gale Crater where the mission first scoop-sampled Martian soil. Four scoop scars remain visible in the soil in front the rover, while the base of three-mile-high (five-kilometer-high) Mount Sharp rises to the right of Curiosity.
The self-portrait isn't just a way to show off Curiosity in action. The image allows scientists and engineers—looking for signs such as wheel wear and dust accumulation—to examine the condition of the rover and see how it has fared on Mars since its August 6 landing. (Related: Mars Rover Finds Ancient Streambed—Proof of Flowing Water.")