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posted by hubie on Friday April 22 2022, @04:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the there's-nothing-I-can-do-an-annular-eclipse-of-the-heart dept.

The Mastcam-Z camera recorded video of Phobos, one of the Red Planet’s two moons:

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has captured dramatic footage of Phobos, Mars’ potato-shaped moon, crossing the face of the Sun. These observations can help scientists better understand the moon’s orbit and how its gravity pulls on the Martian surface, ultimately shaping the Red Planet’s crust and mantle.

Captured with Perseverance’s next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2, the 397th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, the eclipse lasted a little over 40 seconds – much shorter than a typical solar eclipse involving Earth’s Moon. (Phobos is about 157 times smaller than Earth’s Moon. Mars’ other moon, Deimos, is even smaller.)

[...]. “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.

[...] Color also sets this version of a Phobos solar eclipse apart. Mastcam-Z has a solar filter that acts like sunglasses to reduce light intensity. “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.

Kudos to the orbitologists who knew the positions of all the appropriate bodies and got the timing right. The really cool video is also up on YouTube (but I don't think you would call this an annular eclipse since nothing looks like an annulus!)


Original Submission

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Daily Telescope: a Solar Eclipse from the Surface of Mars 3 comments

https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/02/daily-telescope-a-solar-eclipse-from-the-surface-of-mars/

Good morning. It's February 12, and today's image is a real treat from the surface of Mars.

In it we see the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos, passing in front of the Sun.

[...] NASA released a bunch of these raw images last week, and planetary scientist Paul Byrne helpfully put them into a video sequence that can be seen here.

[...] Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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Annular Solar Eclipse October 2023 and Total in April 2024 - 20231002
NASA's Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars - 20220422
How to Watch Rare "Ring of Fire" Solar Eclipse - 20210609
Coming Jan 31st: a Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse - First Time in 150 Years - 20180105


Original Submission

Here's Our Comprehensive, In-Depth Guide to Viewing the North American Total Solar Eclipse 12 comments

https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/03/heres-our-comprehensive-in-depth-guide-to-viewing-the-total-solar-eclipse/

If you enter "how to see the eclipse" into your favorite search engine, you're bound to see thousands—millions?—of helpful guides. Some of these are extremely detailed and thorough, almost as if the author were getting paid by the word or augmented by AI.

In reality, seeing a solar eclipse is just about the easiest thing one can do in one's life. Like, it's difficult to think of anything else that has the greatest reward-lowest effort ratio in life. You just need to know a couple of things. For the sake of simplicity, here is Ars' four-step guide to having a four-star eclipse-viewing experience. Steps are listed in order of ascending importance.

[...] In reality, a total solar eclipse is probably going to be the most spectacular celestial event most of us see in our lifetimes. Certainly, there could be more spectacular ones. A supernova within 100 light-years of Earth would be amazing. Witnessing a large asteroid streaking through Earth's atmosphere before impact would be incredible.

Unfortunately, those would also be lethal.

Related stories on SoylentNews:
Daily Telescope: A Solar Eclipse From the Surface of Mars - 2024-02-14
Annular Solar Eclipse October 2023 and Total in April 2024 - 2023-10-02
NASA's Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars - 2022-04-22
How to Watch Rare "Ring of Fire" Solar Eclipse - 2021-06-09
Coming Jan 31st: a Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse - First Time in 150 Years - 2018-01-05


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @08:23AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @08:23AM (#1238823)

    I know this wasn't the first such movie, but a pretty ace sight to see. Also, kudos to SN for yet another article linked directly to nasa/jpl source site. Phobos made of potato, we mist have a full menu locally in our solar system.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @01:59PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @01:59PM (#1238848)

      I didn't really know that there had been a previous movie of an eclipse on mars.
      I guess I got spoiled by today's special effects in various movies, I'm finding it hard to actually feel how big a deal this is. I do know it, intellectually.

      I never actually did the calculation, and I always assumed phobos and deimos would be too small to be visible as anything but dots.

      • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Friday April 22 2022, @04:23PM (1 child)

        by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 22 2022, @04:23PM (#1238876)

        Phobos is pretty small at about 7 miles across, but the orbit is only 3700 miles above the surface of Mars, making it the closest orbiting moon (known). It takes a bit less than 8 hours for Phobos to orbit Mars. Phobos is one hundredth the size of the Moon, but also orbits 100 times closer, so it can look as large as the Moon does from Earth.

        Deimos is smaller at about 4 miles across and orbits higher at about 14,580 miles, so looks quite a bit smaller. Best picture that I found that illustrates this:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PIA17352-MarsMoons-PhobosPassesDeimos-RealTime.gif [wikipedia.org]

        Cool video!

        --
        The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23 2022, @01:06AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23 2022, @01:06AM (#1238963)

          Because Phobos is so close, it is actually spiraling in and will crash into Mars in the not-too-distant-future. (Well, "not-too-distant" in a solar system time scale kind of thing at least)

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday April 22 2022, @01:45PM (4 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 22 2022, @01:45PM (#1238846) Journal

    This observation will help put to rest the huge controversy of whether gravity on flat Mars works the same way as gravity on flat Earth.

    --
    When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @04:15PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @04:15PM (#1238874)

      Are you sure? Phobos looks like a flat disk in that movie to me.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @08:55PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @08:55PM (#1238933)

        That's the sun. Phobos is the potato casting a shadow on it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @11:56PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22 2022, @11:56PM (#1238949)

          what is really cool, is you cannot see the hand or any strings holding the potato.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23 2022, @01:38AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23 2022, @01:38AM (#1238968)

            Mars only has 1/3 of Earth's gravity, so you can throw stuff really slow.

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