The one-ton Curiosity, which carries a massive amount of scientific kit, was drilling for a new rock sample when the photo was taken.
The panoramic view captures Curiosity's current location on Vera Rubin Ridge inside the Gale Crater, revealing the rover's most recent drill target.
This composite image from August 9, 2018 photos made available by NASA shows the Curiosity rover at Vera Rubin Ridge on Mars. Researchers say the rover has encountered a mystery on the Red Planet, as well: rocks that are too hard for its drill to bore into.
While there's no way of knowing which rocks are harder and therefore more difficult to drill into, the Curiosity team has learned that Vera Rubin Ridge has a complex structure.
NASA's older rover Opportunity, however, relies on solar power and has been silent since June.
According to Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the ridge's rock composition is uniquely diverse. It is not a monolithic geographical feature as one would expect but is made up of two sections, each of them with a variety of colors. "Some [colors] are visible to the eye and even more show up when we look in near-infrared", Vasavada explained, "just beyond what our eyes can see".
Curiosity has been exploring Vera Rubin Ridge since the end of 2017.
After its short "selfie break", Curiosity will follow up with two more drilling samples for September. "Some seem related to how hard the rocks are". It's possible ancient water flows help distribute a cementing agent throughout the ridge. Is there something special in the ridge's red rocks that makes them so unyielding?
To get to new targets, the rover travels on 20-inch (50.8 cm) wheels which allow it to roll over obstacles up to 25 inches (65 centimeters) high.