NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter Revealed Phobos In A Full Moon Phase

Share

NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter has achieved a new milestone as the spacecraft managed to observe Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, during an entire full moon phase. The feat was made with the help of an infrared camera, which was focused on Phobos since September 2017.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory division shared some images of the moon, and at first sight, it looks like an awesome and intensely colored jawbreaker. The new information could play an essential role in the attempt to understand more about Phobos, which is the larger of the two moons that orbit Mars. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (also known as THEMIS) can record how the surface temperature on Phobos varies as the satellite travels around the Red Planet.

A NASA representative has stated that the new image is quite fascinating since it shows the warmest point in the middle, and how the temperature begins to fall as the moon continues to move. Since new images are captured from a slightly different angle the information conveyed by them remains new and exciting.

NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter Revealed Phobos In A Full Moon Phase

The full moon was recorded in April 2019 when THEMIS focused on Phobos as the sun was behind the spacecraft. The image of the full moon will facilitate the study of the material composition while the more significant number of half-moon shots is better for surveying surface textures.

A team of researchers is already hard at work on a quest to learn more about the mineral present on the surface of the moon. At this point, it is already known that nickel and iron can be found on the surface. By analyzing the balance of minerals, researchers can determine the nature of Phobos, which could be a captured asteroid or even an agglomeration of fragments which were pushed into space a significant impact.

The Odyssey spacecraft has been orbiting the planet since 2001, and it sent back a large amount of valuable information. It is estimated that it will remain operational until 2025.


Share

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *