Skip to comments.The Shadow of Phobos:First Indirect View of Martian Solar Eclipse Published in 1999
Posted on 09/16/2012 5:13:52 PM PDT by lbryce
Explanation: Hurtling through space above the Red Planet, potato-shaped Phobos completes an orbit of Mars in less than eight hours. In fact, since its orbital period is shorter than the planet's rotation period, Mars-based observers see Phobos rise in the west and set in the east - traveling from horizon to horizon in about 5 1/2 hours. These three images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft record the oval shadow of Phobos racing over western Xanthe Terra on August 26, 1999. The area imaged is about 250 kilometers across and is seen in panels from left to right as red filter, blue filter, and combined color composite views from the MGS wide-angle camera system. The three dark spots most easily seen in the red filter image are likely small fields of dark sand dunes on crater floors. Standing in the shadow of Phobos, you would see the Martian version of a solar eclipse! APOD published the first indirect images of a Martian solar eclipse as indicated by the image below of Phobos casting a giant shadow on the surface of Mars. By any definition, the image does emphatically capture a Martian solar eclipse. By definition a solar eclipse occurs when a planetary moon at least partially blocks out the Sun as seen from the surface of which is seen with the shadow of Phobos on the surface, the shadow of course is the result of the sun being blocked except not from the perspective expected.
APOD:March 29, 2003:The Shadow of Phobos
APOD:November 5,1999:The Shadow of Phobos
(Excerpt) Read more at apod.nasa.gov ...
Posted earlier today is the awesome accomplishment by Curiosity viewing the Martian moon Phobos eclipse the Sun. The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, transits (passes in front of) the sun in the approximately true-speed movie simulation using images from the panoramic camera.
What is most fascinating is that NASA had images of a Martian Solar Eclipse first published in November 5, 1999. It was so popular APOD published the same Martian Solar eclipse image on three separate instances.
As shown in the images below,NASA had in fact captured images of a Martian solar eclipse. Not in the conventional manner of seeing the sun blocked by a planetary moon as was accomplished a few days ago but indirect images of a Martian Solar Eclipse, capturing the shadow of Phobos as it crosses the Martian landscape taken in 1999.
By it's very definition you can not deny that the irregular shaped moon, Phobos, casting a giant shadow upon the Martian landscape is the result of a Martian solar eclipse but not from the perspective in which we expect a solar eclipse to be seen. But by any perspective, you can not deny the phenomenon of Phobos' shadow on the Martian surface is a solar eclipse but not one you would expect.
Fascinating! In reflecting on our own moon, it’s amazing that the disk of the moon just blots out the disc of the sun when we watch a total eclipse. And utterly astounding that there is life on earth to observe, comprehend, understand, and appreciate it!