April 13, 2024

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This 40-second solar eclipse seen from the surface of Mars is amazing

This 40-second solar eclipse seen from the surface of Mars is amazing

April 2, 2021, solar eclipse on Mars.

When NASA’s Persevere spacecraft landed on Mars in February 2021, it carried a high-resolution video camera, complete with powerful zoom. This camera has since provided all kinds of amazing views of the Red Planet over the past 14 months.

However, earlier this month, rover operators turned its powerful Mastcam-Z camera toward the sky to capture the potato-shaped moon Phobos as it passed across the surface of the Sun. And the result, well, the result was amazing.

Phobos is much smaller than Earth’s moon, only about 20 km wide, so it doesn’t plunge Mars into darkness. However, with the engraved moon facing the sun, the video reveals the lumpy nature of Phobos’ terrain, complete with small hills and hills. It also displays sunspots on the surface of our star.

NASA has been capturing views from Earth of Phobos, and Mars’ smaller moon Deimos, since the twin landings of the Spirit and Opportunity spacecraft in 2004. for examplecuriousity Captured this transit From Phobos in 2019. But the full-color video of the new solar eclipse is on another level — it’s, if you let us, different day and night — in terms of detail and color.

One of the Mastcam-Z team members who operates the camera said Rachel Howson of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego: In a press release. Amazing seems like an understatement.

List image by NASA