NASA astronaut shoots ultimate Christmas Eve selfie


posted Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:41 PM EDT


Selfie fans, the gauntlet has just been well and truly laid down. Wherever you are and whatever you do -- be it dangling your feet from the top of a skyscraper, snapping your photo with the world's largest self-portrait camera, or taking the artistic route as Hungarian photographer Noell S. Oszvald so skillfully did -- you're going to struggle to better a selfie of NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins that just popped up on Instagram.

Fear not, though -- there's a slight technicality which means that you needn't fund your own space program to better Hopkins' image. It might look for all the world like one, but it's not actually a selfie -- it's a portrait shot by fellow astronaut Rick Mastracchio.

Possibly the coolest not-quite-selfie we've ever seen. Astronaut Mike Hopkins floats free over planet Earth during a Christmas Eve spacewalk, as captured by Rick Mastracchio.

If you prefer a square aspect, see the Instagram version here. And since this is such an awesome image, we're also offering the full-res original for your downloading pleasure.

The pair were performing the second of two spacewalks performed in the last four days, working to replace a faulty water pump on the exterior of the International Space Station when Mastracchio snapped the pic of Hopkins seemingly floating right above planet Earth. Since we're photo geeks, we couldn't help but check the EXIF header for more info: Mastracchio used a Nikon D2Xs from 2007 to grab the once-in-a-million-lifetimes shot on Christmas Eve, with a 1/350 second exposure at f/9 and ISO 200.

Whether it's truly a selfie or not, we think it deserves the title of Coolest Selfie Ever, and we're sticking to our guns on this one. Think you can do better? Sound off in the comments below, and show us your awesome selfies (or those you've found online).