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Examining Mars' Moon Phobos in a Different Light

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:11 pm

NASA's longest-lived mission to Mars has gained its first look at the Martian moon Phobos, pursuing a deeper understanding by examining it in infrared wavelengths.

The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter observed Phobos on Sept. 29, 2017. Researchers have combined visible-wavelength and infrared data to produce an image color-coded for surface temperatures of this moon, which has been considered for a potential future human-mission outpost.

"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, headquartered in San Antonio.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:13 pm

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

This image combines two products from the first pointing at the Martian moon Phobos by the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, on Sept. 29, 2017. Surface-temperature information from observation in thermal-infrared wavelengths is overlaid on a more detailed image from a visible-light observation.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:14 pm

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

This series of images was taken in visible-wavelength light as the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey scanned across the Martian moon Phobos on Sept. 29, 2017. The apparent motion is due to progression of the camera's pointing during 18 seconds of observing, not from motion of Phobos.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:15 pm



NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter observed Phobos, the moon of Mars, using the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera, on 29 September 2017.

The scale bar correlates color-coding to the temperature range on the Kelvin scale, from 130 K (minus 226 degrees Fahrenheit) for dark purple to 270 K (26 degrees F) for red. The distance to Phobos from Odyssey during the observation was about 5511 kilometers (3,424 miles).

 
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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:16 pm



While observing Mars, the Hubble Space Telescope captured images of the moon Phobos, allowing astronomers to create a time-lapse video. 13 separate exposures, over the course of 22 minutes, show the moon's orbital path. Phobos completes an orbit in just 7 hours and 39 minutes.

 
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