Solar Eclipse on Mars! NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Stunning Video

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has managed to capture spectacular videos of Phobos, the potato-shaped moon of Mars, passing the face of the sun. These findings will help scientists better understand the moon’s orbit and why gravity tries to pull on the red planet, eventually forming the red planet’s crust and mantle.

SEE ALSO: Three-year mission to Mars: scientists get space lettuce with ready meals

The images are the most striking in a long series of NASA spacecraft images of solar eclipses on Mars. During a solar eclipse in 2004, the two NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity eventually captured the first time-lapse images of Phobos.

Perseverance, which arrived in February 2021, offered one of the most zoomed-in clips of a Phobos eclipse to date — and at the fastest frame rate ever. “I knew it was going to be really good, but I didn’t really expect it to be this great,” said Rachel Howson from San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems.

Phobos’ gravity causes slight tidal forces on Mars’ inner surface, slightly deforming the rock in the planet’s crust and mantle as it orbits the planet. These forces also gradually alter Phobos’ orbit. In fact, geophysicists can use the changes to better understand how flexible Mars’ interior is, by discovering more about materials contained within the crust and mantle.

SEE ALSO: NASA postpones Ingenuity’s operations until September in the wake of its 21st successful flight

Scientists now know that Phobos is doomed to failure: The moon is approaching the surface of Mars and will collide with the planet in tens of millions of years.

Cover Image: NASA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.