NASA’s Perseverance robot recorded a solar eclipse on Mars earlier this month. The video, which lasts a little over 40 seconds, shows one of the Red Planet’s moons passing in front of the Sun.
On April 2, Mastcam-Z, integrated into the Perseverance spacecraft, managed to capture a moment when the moon Phobos was on his way in front of the Sun..
According to the U.S. Space Agency, the phenomenon only lasted 40 secondsa very short time span compared to the solar eclipse observed on Earth and caused by the Moon.
Images of the phenomenon will help scientists “better understand the orbit of the red planet’s moon and how gravity pushes the surface of Mars and eventually shapes its shell and shell,” reads a NASA memo.
Another interesting detail of the images taken is the color, as Mastcam-Z has a sun filter that reduces the intensity of light.
“You can see the details in the form of Phobos’ shadow, like ridges and bumps“, in detail Mark Lemmon, a planetary astronomer at the Boulder Institute for Space Sciences in Colorado.” sunspots. And it’s interesting that we can see this eclipse just like the robot saw it on Mars.
“I knew it would be good, but I didn’t expect it to be so gorgeous,” said Rachel Howson, one of the team that uses the camera.
Although the moon Phobos (which is about 157 times smaller than the Earth’s moon) orbits Mars, its gravity affects small tidal forces within the planet, a dynamic that also changes its own orbit.
These details allow researchers to better understand how flexible the inside of Mars isrevealing more information about the materials inside its shell and casing.
There is only one prey: Phobos is approaching the surface of Mars and is scheduled to collide with Mars in tens of millions of years.