Say cheese! NASA Mars rover photographs own shadow

Associated Press
In this undated image provided by NASA, Mars Rover Opportunity catches its own late-afternoon shadow in a view eastward across Endeavour Crater on Mars. The rover used a panoramic camera between about 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. local Mars time to record images taken through different filters and combined into this mosaic view. Most of the component images were recorded during the 2,888th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars, which corresponds to March 9, 2012 on Earth. The view is presented in false color to make some differences between materials easier to see, such as the dark sandy ripples and dunes on the crater's distant floor. Opportunity has been studying the western rim of Endeavour Crater since arriving there in August 2011. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State University)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Even robots like to have fun. NASA's rover on Mars showed off its playful side by snapping a picture of its own shadow. It's the latest self-portrait since the rover, named Opportunity, landed on the red planet in 2004.

The photo was taken in March and NASA released it this week. The solar-powered, six-wheel rover was at an outcrop on the rim of a massive crater. The late afternoon sun set the crater aglow and Opportunity waited for just the right lighting to send a postcard back to Earth.

The result was a dramatic view of Opportunity casting a shadow with the crater in the background.

After nearly five months in one spot, the tireless rover is rolling again to explore more rocks.

Its twin, Spirit, stopped communicating in 2010.

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