Mars Express close flybys of martian moon Phobos

Jan 21, 2011
This image has been photometrically enhanced to illuminate darker areas. Resolution: 4.1 m/pixel. Credit: Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Mars Express has returned images from the Phobos flyby of 9 January 2011. Mars Express passed Mars' largest moon at a distance of 100km.

The HRSC-camera recorded images of Phobos on 9 January 2011 at a distance of 100 km with a resolution of 8.1 m/pixel. Due to the stereo viewing geometry during the a small part of the moon’s edge is only visible for the right eye resulting in odd 3D-perception in this area.

This part has been slightly adjusted for better viewing. Also, for the left eye at the left edge of the image four small data gaps have been interpolated.

Superimposed on the HRSC-nadir image are 7 SRC-images with a resolution of about 3 m/pixel. The Super Resolution Channel images show more details of the surface of Phobos.

Explore further: NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pioneering images of both martian moons (w/ Video)

Dec 11, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- For the very first time, the martian moons Phobos and Deimos have been caught on camera together. ESA's Mars Express orbiter took these pioneering images last month. Apart from their ‘wow’ ...

Phobos flyby images (w/ Video)

Mar 15, 2010

Images from the recent flyby of Phobos, on 7 March 2010, are released today. The images show Mars' rocky moon in exquisite detail, with a resolution of just 4.4 metres per pixel. They show the proposed landing ...

Phobos flyby season starts again

Feb 16, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Today Mars Express began a series of flybys of Phobos, the largest moon of Mars. The campaign will reach its crescendo on 3 March, when the spacecraft will set a new record for the closest ...

Mars Express to rendezvous with Martian moon

Jul 16, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists and engineers are preparing ESA’s Mars Express for a pair of close fly-bys of the Martian moon Phobos. Passing within 100 km of the surface, Mars Express will conduct some of ...

'Happy face' crater on Mars

Apr 10, 2006

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the Galle Crater, an impact crater located on the eastern rim of the Argyre Planitia impact basin ...

Recommended for you

How can we search for life on icy moons such as Europa?

15 minutes ago

Our solar system is host to a wealth of icy worlds that may have water beneath the surface. The Cassini spacecraft recently uncovered evidence of a possible ocean under the surface of Saturn's moon, Mimas.

CubeSat instruments to demonstrate NASA firsts

1 hour ago

The Dellingr six-unit CubeSat, which is taking its developers just one year to design, build and integrate, won't be the only potentially groundbreaking capability for NASA. Its heliophysics payloads also ...

Musk is testing x-wing style fins, spaceport drone ship

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Elon Musk over the weekend sent out a number of tweets about what's up at SpaceX in its rocket endeavors, talking about features that triggered a steady response stream of "Awesome," "Rad," ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

71STARS
not rated yet Jan 21, 2011
My thoughts about Mars' 2 "moons" has always been that these pieces of rock are just that: 2 pieces of planetary rock of a "failed moon" that resulted in the Mars asteroid belt. These 2 rocky pieces got thrust out of the arena of the asteroid belt, but they certainly cannot be called a "moon" in the sense that it represents a complete planetary object with a core, as well as an outer crust. These 2 objects belonging to Mars need to be designated with a descriptive name as to what they really are; but certainly not moons per se.
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Jan 22, 2011
satellites
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Jan 22, 2011
potential terraforming tools
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Jan 22, 2011
potential terraforming tools


Considering at least one of them, Phobos, has a decaying orbit, it probably would be a good idea to go ahead and assist it's crashing into the planet before building a long term colony.

This cataclysmic event would transfer a huge amount of angular momentum to Mars, increasing it's rate of rotation significantly, since phobos orbits the planet faster than the planet rotates. It might require a few years or decades afterwards before the planet's geology stabilizes again, as the energy release would likely liquify a significant portion of Mars' mass, unless the moon breaks up and accretes gradually.

Because the angle of decay is so low compared to the normal for impacts, the explosion might not be as big as you expect for such a giant impact, as a higher than average percent of the energy release is stored in the form of angular momentum as compared to typically "billiard ball" style impacts. It would still be like armageddon though...
panorama
not rated yet Jan 22, 2011
It would still be like armageddon though...

Yes, but if it leads to terraforming wouldn't it also be a part of the Mars creation story as well? We should get started on the Mars prophecies now, that way when it becomes a reality we'll be famous!!! Long dead most likely, but famous!!!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.