New Views of Martian Moon and Surface

Mar 09, 2009
These color-enhanced views of Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars, result from imaging on Feb. 21, 2009, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-caltech/University of Arizona

(PhysOrg.com) -- New images from two observations of the Martian moon Deimos and more than 600 observations of Mars, acquired by the high-resolution camera (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, became available for viewing Monday.

These color-enhanced views of , the smaller of the two moons of , result from imaging on Feb. 21, 2009, by the Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Deimos has a smooth due to a blanket of fragmental rock or regolith, except for the most recent impact craters. It is a dark, reddish object, very similar to Mars' other moon, . For a comparison, see HiRISE images of Phobos taken March 23, 2008.

These Deimos images combine HiRISE exposures in near-infrared, red and blue-green wavelengths. In the enhanced color, subtle color variations are visible -- redder in the smoothest areas and less red near the fresh impact craters and over ridges of topographic highs (relative to Deimos' center of gravity). The color variations are probably caused by exposure of surface material to the space environment, which leads to darkening and reddening. Brighter and less-red surface materials have seen less exposure to space due to recent impacts or downslope movement of regolith.

Deimos is about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in diameter. Its orbital period is 1 day, 6 hours, 17.9 minutes.

These two images were acquired 5 hours and 35 minutes apart. The sun was to the upper left in the first (left) image, and to the right in the second image. The viewing geometry is similar in the two images, but surface features appear very different due to the change in illumination.

With an image scale of about 20 meters (66 feet) per pixel, features 60 meters (197 feet) or larger can be discerned.

These images are products from observations catalogued by the HiRISE team as ESP_012065_9000 and ESP_012068_9000. Other products from these observations are available at hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/deimos.php .

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Successful engine test enables SpaceX Falcon 9 soar to space station in Jan. 2015

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First Color Mars Images From New Orbiter

Apr 07, 2006

This is the first color image of Mars from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The blankets of material ejected from the many small fresh craters are generally ...

New Views of Martian Moons

Nov 28, 2007

These two images taken by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) show Mars' two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, as seen from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's low orbit around Mars. ...

HiRISE Catches a Dust Devil on Mars

Jul 20, 2007

The University of Arizona-based High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) group this week released a good look at a dust devil on Mars. This is not the storm bedeviling NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit ...

Recommended for you

The top 101 astronomical events to watch for in 2015

17 hours ago

Now in its seventh year of compilation and the second year running on Universe Today, we're proud to feature our list of astronomical happenings for the coming year. Print it, bookmark it, hang it on your ...

NASA image: Frosty slopes on Mars

22 hours ago

This image of an area on the surface of Mars, approximately 1.5 by 3 kilometers in size, shows frosted gullies on a south-facing slope within a crater.

Opportunity rover struggles with flash memory problems

23 hours ago

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, also known as "Oppy", is continuing its traverse southward on the western rim of Endeavour Crater despite computer resets and "amnesia" that have occurred after reformatting ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2009
"The color variations are probably caused by exposure of surface material to the space environment, which leads to darkening and reddening"

What's the proposed mechanism?

....and they've got a bridge for sale too.

regolith? or pixel diddling here on earth? c'mon!

never a straight answer

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.