THEMIS Takes Deimos’ Temperature

Can you feel the heat? NASA’s Mars Odyssey can see it! This is an image of Mars’ smaller moon Deimos, captured with Odyssey’s THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) instrument on Feb. 15, 2018. Part of the 7-mile-wide Moon was in shadow, but the sunlit surface area reached temperatures up to 200 K (that’s still pretty…

Deimos Rising

  Released today, this photo from the HiRISE camera aboard the MRO shows the smooth face of Deimos, Mars’ smaller moon. (Its larger brother is Phobos, also photographed by the HiRISE in 2008.) Its surface is covered by a fine layer of rocky soil, called regolith, which gives it its smooth texture. Deimos is only…

Have No Fear, Phobos is Here!

On May 12, 2016, the Hubble Space Telescope captured a series of images of Mars and in them the planet’s moon Phobos can be seen appearing from behind the western limb. This was just 10 days before opposition which, in 2016, was the closest Mars had been to Earth since 2005, lending particularly good opportunity…

These Are Our Best Pictures of Mars’ Smallest Moon

Mars isn’t a planet well-known for its natural satellites but it actually does have two small moons. The larger, Phobos, is an irregularly-shaped, heavily grooved and cratered world only about 17 miles (27 km) across at its widest. It orbits Mars so closely that it completes 3 orbits every day, and isn’t even visible from…

Curiosity Gazes on Mars’ Moon Phobos

Do you love to look up at the Moon? Well so does NASA’s Curiosity rover! Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong (I have not confirmed this) but this appears to be an image of Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two small moons, imaged by Curiosity’s Mastcam on mission Sol 1002 (June 1, 2015)….

Nobody Makes a Picture of Mars Quite Like MOM

If you’re loving this fantastic image of the Red Planet as much as I am, then be sure to give thanks to MOM! Don’t call home just yet though; this is a view from India’s Mars Orbiter Mission – MOM for short – which successfully entered orbit around Mars on September 24 after a ten-month…

Galileo’s Visit with an Asteroid, 22 Years Ago Today

Launched on its historic voyage to Jupiter on October 18, 1989, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft also got some good looks at several members of our solar system before it reached the giant planet — and one of them was the 12-mile-long asteroid Gaspra, of which it made its closest pass on October 29, 1991. The image…

Focus on Phobos

The European Space Agency’s Mars Express has begun a series of flybys of Mars’ largest – albeit still very small – moon, Phobos. Begun on February 16 (2010) Mars Express will perform closer and closer approaches until, on March 3, it will pass by at an altitude of only 31 miles, giving us the most…

Fear and Dread

The European Space Agency’s Mars Express has captured footage of Mars’ two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, passing each other in what is known as a “mutual event”. Although the moons themselves are in no special positions the images are noteworthy, being the first time the moons have been photographed passing each other. Mars Express’…