NASA’s Perseverance rover has captured stunning images of Mars ‘ moon Phobos eclipsing the Sun.
NASA’s Perseverance rover captured a cosmic event in the Martian sky. Mars ‘ moon Phobos was captured eclipsing the Sun. This new video comes after the InSight lander captured a beautiful sunrise on Mars .
In a blog post, NASA explains : “These observations may help scientists better understand the moon’s orbit and how its gravity pulls on the Martian surface, ultimately shaping the Red Planet’s crust and mantle.” .
The eclipse was captured with Perseverance’s next-generation Mastcam-Z camera , the cosmic event lasted just over 40 seconds, much less than a typical solar eclipse between the Moon and Earth.
Eclipse on Mars
“I knew [the footage] was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be this amazing ,” Rachel Howson, one of the camera operators based at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, said in the NASA statement.
Phobos is one of the two moons of Mars and has an average radius of 11 kilometers . This moon is characterized by a 9 kilometer wide crater called Stickney. In millions of years, Phobos will either split into a ring or crash into Mars, according to NASA calculations.
Japan is planning a mission to Phobos in the 2020s, where a probe will collect rock samples and will eventually be brought back to Earth.
The Perseverance rover is preparing to conduct science operations in the Jezero Crater delta, a place where researchers believe running water — and perhaps microbial life — once existed .