Mars is Tearing its Moon Apart

Phobos, the largest — yet at just 16 miles wide still quite tiny — moon of Mars is getting ripped apart by the gravitational pull of its parent planet… and it bears the scars to show it, scientists have determined. Long parallel grooves that wrap around the surface of Phobos are thought to be stress fractures…

One Space Blogger’s Review of The Martian

If you’re a space fan and you’ve decided to hold off seeing The Martian on opening weekend until you know what to expect, I totally understand — I very rarely see films on opening weekends myself (I have a thing about overcrowded theaters, but that’s another story.) And I also hate to be sorely disappointed…

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…

A Daytime Moon on Mars

A raw image taken on September 21 by Curiosity’s right Mastcam shows a daytime view of the Martian sky with a crescent-lit Phobos in the frame… barely visible, yes, but most certainly there. Very cool! The image above is a crop of the original, contrast-enhanced and sharpened to bring out as much detail as possible….

A Frightful Eclipse Seen From Mars

Yes, Mars gets eclipses too! This brief animation, made from ten raw subframe images acquired with Curiosity’s Mastcam show the silhouette of Mars’ moon Phobos (named after the Greek god of fear) as it slipped in front of the Sun’s limb on September 13 — aka the 37th “Sol” of the mission. The animation spans…

“A boulder as big as a house”

A high-res image of Mars’ moon Phobos, acquired on January 9 by ESA’s Mars Express, shows a large boulder on the irregularly-shaped moon’s southern hemisphere. It rests near the edge of a large crater…when I rotated the image it looked as if it should just start rolling backwards and slide right over the edge! (The…

Turning Fear Around

Here’s a quick animation of Mars’ moon Phobos, made from five images – released today – taken by ESA’s Mars Express during its flyby on January 9, 2011. Passing by the 14-mile-wide moon at a distance of about 62 miles (100 km), Mars Express took images in five HRSC channels…I combined those to create this….

Following a Moon Shadow

Can’t see the video below? Click here. Here’s an intriguing video assembled by Daniel Macháček, made from archived image data from NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter; on September 28, 1977, over a year after dropping a probe onto the Martian surface, the orbiter captured images of the shadow of Mars’ moon Phobos passing over the billowy top…

Fear a-Flying

Part of a bulk data release from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter (available at ftp://psa.esac.esa.int/pub/mirror/MARS-EXPRESS/HRSC, posted on unmannedspaceflight.com by user peter59) this wonderful image shows Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two moons, in orbit against the backdrop of the planet’s limb. The dark, irregularly-shaped moon is shown in amazing clarity, giving a very nice…

This Week in Space

The space shuttle Discovery prepares for launch and new discoveries from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer…kamikaze comets, another exoplanet spotted, a closer look at the moons Rhea, Pallene and Phobos, lost spacecraft, an interview with retired astronaut Bernard Harris and lots more in this edition of This Week in Space with Miles O’Brien. Enjoy! Provided…

This Week in Space

Buzz muses on the next steps for NASA (and his upcoming stint on “Dancing with the Stars”), the Space Coast braces for lay-offs, new proof of lunar ice, Discovery heads (slowly) to the launch pad, Mars’s potentially-hollow moon Phobos gets a close-up, revisiting a comet, windy black holes, blue marbles, icebergs and more on this…