Skip to comments.Curiosity Rover Views Phobos Passing in Front of Deimos (Video)
Posted on 08/17/2013 12:47:00 PM PDT by lbryce
Direct Link To Video
YouTube:Curiosity Rover Views Phobos Passing in Front of Deimos
This sped-up movie from the Curiosity rover shows Phobos (the larger of Mars two moons) passing in front of smaller Deimos. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.
Pasadena, California The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passes directly in front of the other, Deimos, in a new series of sky-watching images from NASAs Mars rover Curiosity.
Large craters on Phobos are clearly visible in these images from the surface of Mars. No previous images from missions on the surface caught one moon eclipsing the other.
The telephoto-lens camera of Curiositys two-camera Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument recorded the images on August 1. Some of the full-resolution frames were not downlinked until more than a week later, in the data-transmission queue behind higher-priority images being used for planning the rovers drives.
These observations of Phobos and Deimos help researchers make knowledge of the moons orbits even more precise.
The ultimate goal is to improve orbit knowledge enough that we can improve the measurement of the tides Phobos raises on the Martian solid surface, giving knowledge of the Martian interior, said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station. He is a co-investigator for use of Curiositys Mastcam. We may also get data good enough to detect density variations within Phobos and to determine if Deimos orbit is systematically changing.
The orbit of Phobos is very slowly getting closer to Mars. The orbit of Deimos may be slowly getting farther from the planet.
Lemmon and colleagues determined that the two moons would be visible crossing paths at a time shortly after Curiosity would be awake for transmitting data to NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for relay to Earth. That made the moon observations feasible with minimal impact on the rovers energy budget.
Although Phobos has a diameter less than one percent the diameter of Earths moon, Phobos also orbits much closer to Mars than our moons distance from Earth. As seen from the surface of Mars, Phobos looks about half as wide as what Earths moon looks like to viewers on Earth.
"What hath God wrought" is a phrase from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 23:23)
Amazing video. Thought you’d might add this to your space list.
Yeah, spent a good chunk of the mid90s stuck on Phobos.
Is our flag still planted there?
A certain congresswoman wants to know. LOL!
Stately Cluros and hurtling Thuria.
doom?? i probably saw you there.
Tarzan and his motley crew of ape spacefarers last known location on Thurina
having left the post apocalyptic Earth destroyed by asteroid.
Those apes are only found on Barsoom...http://images.elfwood.com/art/d/a/davidaullery/SciFi.Fantasy.Barsoom-White-Ape-females.Barsoom-White-Ape-females-small.jpg.rZd.347161.jpg
Google “Phobos space station” and you’ll see the red circle points out an alien entertainment district.
LOL. That ape is quite a handful. Last I heard the simian residents on Barsoom have taken to its lunar suburbia on Thurina as a summer resort.
I hear that Phobos is hollow and that one crater has a metal-hull look to it.
Phobos looks like the Death Star encrusted with age
Google ‘Phobos’ to find out how in the 1960’s (I think) with the limitations of the telescopes of the day, the Soviets determined Phobos to be a space station built by the Martian resident civilization.
Thanks lbryce. Extra to APoD.
Curiosity Captures Phobos Rising Movie and Sun Setting on Mars