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NASA’s Curiosity rover has been crawling around on the surface of Mars since August sending back spectacular and revealing images for scientists to examine and the public to enjoy.

Linda Kah is an integral part of the NASA team working on the rover. The associate professor of earth and planetary sciences works on the camera team that is searching for features within rocks that might provide clues to the role of fluids in the planet’s past.

This week, a self-portrait of the Curiosity rover was released. Taken on Wednesday, October 31, the Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture a set of thumbnail images which were stitched together to create the full-color self-portrait.

Self-portrait of Curiosity rover
Preliminary self-portrait of Curiosity by rover’s arm camera. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

The self-portrait documents the state of the rover and allows mission engineers to track changes over time, such as dust accumulation and wheel wear.

Two days before the photos were taken, Kah gave a plenary address at the 50th annual conference of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Kah spoke about her participation on NASA’s Curiosity rover team. She was also one of six invitees featured at CASW’s “dinner with a scientist” program hosted by NBC science editor Alan Boyle.

In a showcase of communicating science to a general audience, a ‘scribe’ actively cartooned Kah’s message during her presentation.

Kah talk cartoon
Click cartoon to enlarge.