A couple days ago, InSight took a selfie from the surface of Mars:

Selfie by InSight
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Most articles about it note that the photo is a composite image, which you can figure out by looking at slight changes in the hues of the Martian soil in the top half of the image. I'm aware that Curiosity and MAVEN have also used this technique.

Many parts of the edges of the picture are straight lines, showing the edge of each image. The shape is presumably irregular because of the different angles from which each image was taken. However, the top right corner surprises me:

Corner of InSight's selfie

It looks much more curved that the other visible sides, almost as if either lots of smaller images were taken (and I'm sure that's not the case) or something was cropped out - or perhaps there was an issue with image quality for some reason.

What's the reason behind the irregular shape at this edge of the selfie?


1 Answer 1


Fromthe article you link to, the selfie was made out of 11 shots of the lander, so that precludes the many images idea.

That is where they cropped out the manipulator arm

the source image for the solar panel

  • $\begingroup$ Any idea why they'd crop the arm out? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ The image is not visible for me. It looks like you're not using the standard 'insert image' code, are you pasting code from somewhere else? $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CarlKevinson I imagine they didn't want an apparently 'floating' piece of the lander in the shot as it would required an explanation of how there is a floating piece of arm for the press. Much easier to crop it out, call it a selfie, and release it to the press. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ just using standard stackexchange markdown @Hobbes $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 22:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Found the culprit: the Privacy Badger extension was filtering out the image. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 7:23

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