Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Curiosity Rover Photo Shows Martian Moon Phobos Crossing Sun

Mars Eclipse: Curiosity Rover Photo Shows Martian Moon Phobos Crossing Sun: "NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped stunning shots of a brief partial solar eclipse on the Red Planet, capturing images of the tiny Martian moon Phobos crossing the face of the sun.
Curiosity took the photos of Phobos on Thursday (Sept. 13), roughly five weeks after landing inside the Red Planet's huge Gale Crater on Aug. 5.

The images, taken with Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam), look very different than the solar eclipses on Earth that we're used to. That's because our planet's moon is about 2,160 miles across (3,476 kilometers), big enough to block out the solar disk entirely when Earth, moon and sun are perfectly aligned. Even partial eclipses of the sun by our moon are impressive celestial events. "