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CosmosUp | November 12, 2019

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Mars Moon Rising In The Sky

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Mars Moon Rising In The Sky

Curiosity, the martian rover, captured in 86 photos one of the “Moons” of Mars, Phobos, rising in the sky of the planet.

The images were assembled as a video (just 32 seconds long) which reproduce the moonrising on Mars – an event that lasted, in fact, 27 minutes. Mars has two natural satellites – two ‘Moons’ – small sized: Phobos (in the image below) present in this video, has a mean radius of only 11 km and Deimos is even smaller (mean radius = 6 km).

Mars Moon Rising: Phobos

Phobos, the moon seen in the video and pictured here, measures just 14 miles wide but Mars’ only other moon, Deimos is even more diminutive. Many astronomers believe that the two tiny moons are actually old asteroids snared by Mars’ gravity millions of years ago

Many astronomers believe that the small moons are, in reality, two asteroids that were captured in the gravitational field of the planet, millions of years ago, and became its satellites.

Nasa experts at Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that the halo (eery ring) around Phobos, visible in the image, is an artifact, a “defect” of the image caused by the scattering of light inside the camera.

Nasa’s rover -Curiosity- landed on Mars last August for an exploratory mission lasting about two years in Gale Crater, it will seek signs of life on the planet. It is now on its way to its final destination, Mount Sharp, the center of Gales Crater.



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