Mars’ moon Phobos photographed

This video is called H344-Mars Express 2.

From the BBC:

Europe’s Mars Express spacecraft has returned some remarkable close-up images of the Red Planet‘s Phobos moon.

The probe passed just 93km from the rock on 23 July, allowing its High Resolution Stereo Camera to take extremely detailed pictures.

Potato-shaped Phobos is 27km in its longest dimension and is thought to be a captured-asteroid or a remnant of the material that formed the planets.

The new images include portions of the moon not previously photographed.

They also show clearly the satellite’s famous grooves.

How these were generated is not entirely understood. Some scientists believe they have been gouged out by material thrown up from the surface of Mars by space impacts.

Other researchers think they could have resulted from the surface regolith, or soil, slipping into internal fissures.

The images are sure to provide new insights. At their best, the pictures have a resolution of 3.7m per pixel.They will also assist the Russians in their planning of the Phobos-Grunt mission. Launching next year, this venture will try to place a spacecraft on the moon to gather samples for return to Earth.


Measures 27 x 22 x 18km; could be a captured asteroid
Orbits less than 6,000km above Mars; slowly falling inwards
First high-res probe images taken by Mariner 9 in 1971
Dedicated Soviet probes, Phobos 1 & 2, were lost
Its 10km-wide Stickney crater records huge impact

See also here.

NEW MARS PICTURES: Water Ice Exposed by Meteor Strikes: here.

California planetarium: here.

Forty years since the first Moon landing: here.

Fake Dutch “moon rock” in museum: here.

ScienceDaily (Feb. 17, 2010) — Mars Express has just began a series of flybys of Phobos, the largest moon of Mars. The campaign will reach its crescendo on 3 March, when the spacecraft will set a new record for the closest pass to Phobos, skimming the surface at just 50 km. The data collected could help untangle the origin of this mysterious moon: here.

Comets, not asteroids, to blame for moon’s scarred face: here.

Halley’s Comet Likely Seen By Ancient Greeks: The ancient Greeks probably saw Halley’s comet in 466 B.C.: here.

Mars’s mysterious elongated crater: Orcus Patera is an enigmatic elliptical depression near Mars’s equator: here.

Mars rovers mark seven years on the planet’s surface: here.

Stardust spacecraft gives second glimpse of comet Tempel 1: here.

20 thoughts on “Mars’ moon Phobos photographed

  1. 2009-06-18 17:35

    Italian finds lake on Mars

    Ancient deposit ‘prime target’ in search for past life

    (ANSA) – Washington, June 18 – An Italian astrophysicist working in the United States has found evidence of a huge lake that once existed on Mars.

    Gaetano Di Achille of the University of Colorado said shoreline ridges seen by the Mars Orbiter provided ”the first unequivocal evidence” of a lake believed to have formed ”at least three billion years ago”.

    He said the lake was some 200 square km in area and at least 450m deep.

    ”The ancient lake bed will be a prime target for future missions in search of past life” on the Red Planet, he said.

    Most astrobiologists believe any sign of life on Mars will take the form of subterranean microorganisms which may have burrowed under the planet’s surface from the bottom of lakes.


  2. Pingback: Lots of money for bankers, cutbacks for science | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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