Watch: NASA’s rover captures stunning solar eclipse from Mars


Watch: NASA’s Perseverance rover has captured the stunning footage of a solar eclipse from Mars as its potato-shaped moon Phobos crosses the face of the sun.

Solar eclipses are always fascinating phenomena on earth but NASA had taken one step forward by sharing the footage of the occurrence over the Red planet Mars.

 

Solar eclipses are always fascinating phenomena on earth but NASA had taken one step forward by sharing the footage of the occurrence over the Red planet Mars.

The footage has been captured by a NASA rover that has been on Mars since February 2021. The footage was recorded by the rover’s next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2.

While previous rovers – including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity – have snapped photos of solar eclipses from Mars, Perseverance’s (pictured) footage is the most-zoomed in video of a Phobos solar eclipse yet

One of the Mastcam-Z team members who operate the camera said, ‘I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be this amazing.’

Unlike Earth, Mars has two moons namely Phobos and Deimos. The moon causing the eclipse was Phobos, which is the larger of the two. Phobos is 17 x 14 x 11 miles (27 by 22 by 18 kilometres) in diameter. However, Phobos is 157 times smaller than earth’s moon.

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Phobos orbits Mars three times a day and is so close to the planet’s surface that in some locations on Mars it cannot always be seen. The 40-second-long eclipse took place on Perseverance’s 397th Martian day.

56870751 10738581 Phobos is the larger of Mars two moons and is 17 x 14 x 11 miles a 409 1650531670127
Phobos is the larger of Mars’ two moons and is 17 x 14 x 11 miles (27 by 22 by 18 kilometers) in diameter

Mark Lemmon, a planetary astronomer who has orchestrated most of the Phobos observations by Mars rovers said, ‘You can see details in the shape of Phobos’ shadow, like ridges and bumps on the moon’s landscape. You can also see sunspots. And it’s cool that you can see this eclipse exactly as the rover saw it from Mars.’

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