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Eclipses on Mars


This panel combines the first photographs of solar eclipses by Mars' two moons. The panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured the images as the first in a planned series of eclipse observations by Opportunity and Spirit.

The Deimos image was taken at 03:04 Universal Time on March 4, 2004. This irregularly shaped moon is only 15 kilometers (9 miles) across in its longest dimension. It appears as just a speck in front of the disc of the Sun. The Phobos image was taken as that moon grazed the edge of the solar disc at 02:46 Universal Time on March 7, 2004. Phobos is 27 kilometers (17 miles) in its longest dimension. Its apparent size relative to Deimos is even greater because it orbits much closer to Mars' surface than Deimos does.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Posted by at March 9, 2004 1:49 PM

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