Perseverance rover captures pictures of the potato moon
NASA’s perseverance Rover captured Phobos which is a potato-shaped moon of Mars, crossing the face of the sun. These findings will help scientists in understanding the moon’s orbit. Also how its gravity affects the Martian surface ultimately by altering the planet’s crust and mantle. The eclipse lasted just over 40 seconds which is significantly shorter than a typical solar eclipse involving the earth’s moon. They captured the pictures with perseverance as the next-generation Mastcam z camera on April 2.
New photos after a long time
The photographs are the most recent in a long line of NASA’s spacecraft images of solar eclipses on Mars. Spirit and opportunity which are NASA’s twin rovers, obtained the first time-lapse photos during a solar eclipse in 2014. However, perseverance which came in February 2021, captured the most zoomed-in video of Phobos late and at the greatest frame rate ever. The next-generation camera of perseverance is responsible for this.
Significance of these observations
These observations can help scientists to understand the moon’s orbit and how its gravity pulls on the Martian surface in a better way. The martian surface is helping to shape the red planet’s crust and mantle. Phobos, one of the two natural satellites of Mars is around 157 times smaller than Earth’s moon. Deimos, the other one is even smaller than Phobos. The two lumpy things are thought to be former asteroids that were trapped by the gravity of Mars. According to researchers, Phobos is in a death spiral over Mars and will certainly smash into the red planet’s surface in a few tens of a million years.
Rovers obtained these observations on Mars in the last 20 years. They have strengthened the knowledge in the most slowly contracting orbits. When compared to the cameras on previous rovers the perseverance camera has a greater upgrade. It has a sunglasses-like filter that helps reduce the intensity of sunlight. This allows scientists to see the bumps and ridges in the Phobo’s outline as well as a collection of sunspots. Mars 2020 mission is a part of NASA’s moon to Mars exploration strategy. The includes Artemis lunar missions to help human exploration on Mars.
Can we observe these changes?
Whether you have a telescope or not, you’ll be able to see the cosmic event that is going on currently and will be visible throughout April 2022. The four planets Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter have aligned close to each other thus producing a planetary quartet in the sky. The alignment will be visible during the daybreak and one does not need high-tech gear to see this phenomenon. A pair of binoculars will do. Mars, Venus, and Saturn were all visible in the early morning sky at the beginning of April. According to NASA, the three planets are now joined by Jupiter and for the rest of April, the four planets will be viewed in a straight line.
1. What is the photo all about?
The Perseverance rover just witnessed a unique kind of eclipse while sitting on the surface of Mars — and the robotic explorer captured video of it.
2. How was the picture look like?
It looks like the rover was watching the shadow of a potato cross the red Martian surface, that’s Phobos, one of Mars’ two little moons.
3. For how much time did it last?
Perseverance observed the 40-second eclipse on April 2.
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