From Mars: NASA reveals recent images captured by Perseverance on Mars with solar eclipse. It's beautiful
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 20 April 2022, at 11:02 am Los Angeles time
The Perseverance rover captured spectacular images of the solar eclipse seen from Mars.
This happened on April 2, 2022 when the moon Phobos of Mars was positioned between the red planet and the Sun, offering a totally different eclipse from how we see it on Earth.
NASA recently sent spectacular images to the public.
The rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021, used its Mastcam-Z camera for 40 seconds during the eclipse to provide collectible images.
April 2, 2022 is the 397th Martian day, the day when the eclipse happened.
It is not the first surprise solar eclipse on Mars, but it is probably one of the best seen eclipses.
That's because Peseverence's Mastcam-Z camera is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, which allowed the rover to capture the most zoomed-in video of a Phobos solar eclipse yet.
"I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't expect it to be this amazing," said Rachel Howson of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, one of the Mastcam-Z team members who operates the camera.
"It feels like a birthday or holiday when they arrive. You know what's coming, but there is still an element of surprise when you get to see the final product."
"You can see details in the shape of Phobos' shadow, like ridges and bumps on the moon's landscape," said Mark Lemmon, a planetary astronomer with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who has orchestrated most of the Phobos observations by Mars rovers.
"You can also see sunspots. And it's cool that you can see this eclipse exactly as the rover saw it from Mars."
Phobos is a special moon.
Because as it rotates around the planet Mars, its gravity exerts small tidal forces on the interior of the Red Planet, thus slightly deforming the rock in the crust and mantle of the planet.
Also, due to these forces, Phobos' orbit is slowly changing, and according to NASA scientists, over tens of millions of years, Phobos will end up collapsing on Mars.