Watch a Phobos solar eclipse thanks to NASA’s Perseverance rover

It’s a chicken! It’s a aircraft! No, it is Phobos, Mars’ “potato-shaped” moon, crossing the face of the Sun!

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover zoomed in on a Phobos sun eclipse and shared the video on its Twitter account on April 20. In it, you’ll be able to spot a hunk of one thing move over the Sun, as noticed via Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z digital camera on Mars.

“This detailed video can help scientists on my team better understand the Martian moon’s orbit and how its gravity affects the interior of Mars, including its crust & mantle,” the rover tweeted. (Yep, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover tweets in first individual, giving us all but one more reason to watch WALL-E and cry.)

The video was once at the start captured on April 2, just about 400 days into Perserverance’s undertaking. The eclipse lasted a bit of over 40 seconds, which is a long way shorter than the standard sun eclipse we see right here on Earth — the ones generally final about seven and a part mins. It’s additionally other from a sun eclipse we are used to seeing as a result of Phobos does not utterly quilt up the Sun; as an alternative, it simply passes via. That’s as a result of, in step with NASA, Phobos is ready 157 instances smaller than Earth’s Moon. And Mars’ different moon, Deimos, is even smaller than that.

“I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be this amazing,” Rachel Hows, probably the most Mastcam-Z staff participants who operates the digital camera, stated in a press liberate. “It feels like a birthday or holiday when [the images] arrive. You know what’s coming, but there is still an element of surprise when you get to see the final product.”

This is not the primary time we have noticed Phobos move over the solar. In 2004, NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity took the primary footage of a Phobos sun eclipse, and Curiosity took one, too. But Perseverance captured the most productive high quality video of a Phobos sun eclipse. You will also see colour on this video, not like previous captures of the eclipse, which we could us see sunspots and ridges and bumps at the moon.

It’s a good looks evidently, however Phobos is right here for a great time, now not a very long time. As the moon will get nearer to the Martian floor, it is doomed to crash into the planet in a couple of million years. RIP.

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