Friday, May 31, 2024

Gorgeous photos show what a solar eclipse looks like on Mars

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
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Science has long known that a solar eclipse is not an exclusive sight for our planet, but it is not every day that we see this phenomenon out here. This is where recent images released by NASA of the moments when the moons of Mars cast shadows on the planet’s surface come into play.

Images courtesy of rover Opportunity (retired in 2018), Curiosity and Perseverance, are the automated robotic vehicles tasked with exploring the Red Planet, which orbits the moons Phobos and Deimos at 7.65 and 30.35 periods, respectively. It is much smaller than our natural satellite, as well as being less “polished”, because it is not round, but rather filled with “lumps”.

Technically, these events aren’t quite the same as the eclipses we see here, because Mars’ moons don’t completely block out sunlight. When the two pass between the star and the observers – in this case, the rover – On our neighboring planet, they cast shadows that partially cover their surface, as you can see in the videos below:

Strange eclipse seen from Mars

Scientists noticed an unusual effect on the planet as the shadow of Phobos passed. The Mars InSight spacecraft, designed to measure seismic activity on Mars, tilts slightly during these events. Experts believe that this is due to the deformation of the planet due to the cooling effect it experiences due to reduced exposure to solar radiation.

This is just one of the interesting observations that researchers have made based on images from the eclipse, which they consider a valuable source of information about Mars. For example, they can relate the movement of its largest moon to the effect of gravity on the planet and use this data to better understand the interior of Mars.

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In addition, what many may consider as mere shadows are a possible harbinger of the future, as scientists believe that eclipse scenes can be used to predict the final fate of Phobos, which is gradually approaching March. There will come a time when it will be so close that the gravity of the planet will push it back with such force that it will disintegrate. Experts believe that Mars will be temporarily surrounded by a ring made of debris from its largest moon.

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