Curiosity is missing an arm, can you help us find it?
The self-portrait photograph of the Curiosity rover from the Gale Crater is probably one of the most well known ones of this particular rover of the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission:
Self-portrait of Curiosity in Gale Crater on the surface of Mars, taken with the rover's arm
camera on October 31, 2012. Click on image for higher resolution photo (Source: Wikipedia)
But here's the thing. If this photograph was taken from the rover's robotic arm, then how come it is not visible? No arm from the camera's vantage point, no shadow beneath it yet there are shadows of its other limbs and main body, and absolutely no trace of the method of taking the shot.
So here's my question: How come there is no trace of the Curiosity's robotic arm, from which this photograph is supposedly taken from, on the photograph itself?
Is this photograph really a composite image of many different angle ones that were stitched together? Was the robotic arm skillfully brushed out after it was transmitted back to Earth? Or did someone mislabel some previously taken photograph while the rover was still tested on Earth, it was uploaded to rover's memory and then sent back to Earth from the surface of the Gale Crater on Mars? Some other explanation, perhaps?