NASA reveals stunning view of Death Star moon Phobos captured by Mars Odyssey orbiter

06 October 2017, 08:16 AM
NASA reveals stunning view of Death Star moon Phobos; See here
NASA reveals stunning view of Death Star moon Phobos; See here

This is new! Mars Odyssey orbiter has successfully captured the first image of the ‘Death Star’ moon Phobos. This is aregion that could one day host a human-mission outpost.

Odyssey orbiter has used the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THERMIS) camera to capture not only the first image of the death star but it has also gathered new information on the changing surface temperatures of the Martian moon.

In the information provided it has revealed about how quickly the ground warms and cools.

The stunning new images was revealed on Sept 29, NASA has combined the visible-wavelength and infrared data to show the surface color-coded by temperature.

Part of the observed face of Phobos was in pre-dawn darkness, part in morning daylight,’ said THEMIS Deputy Principal Investigator Victoria Hamilton of the Southwest Research Institute.

‘Including a predawn area in the observation is useful because all the heating from the previous day’s sunshine has reached its minimum there.

‘As you go from predawn area to morning area you get to watch the heating behaviour. If it heats up very quickly, it’s likely not very rocky but dusty instead.’

By reading the photo from left to right, it reveals a sequence of times of day, from pre-dawn through sunrise, and long after dawn, according to NASA.

NASA says that the image can help bring a greater understanding of how quickly the surface of Phobos cools and heats up, which can in turn provide information about the moon's texture and composition. "As barefoot beach walks can confirm, sand warms or cools quicker than rocks or pavement," says the space agency.

While Odyssey is only about 250 miles (400 km) from the surface of Mars, Phobos orbits about 3,700 miles (6,000 km) above the planet, which accounts for the relatively small size of the image.

Also Read: Mars Insight mission: Send your names to NASA to be put on microchip

Death Star moon Phobos

Death Star moon Phobos

Death Star moon Phobos

Death Star moon Phobos

Death Star moon Phobos

Death Star moon Phobos
First Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 07:42 AM
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