Curiosity rover snaps a video of Martian moonrise

The otherwordly new video features one of the two Martian moons – Phobos, as it rises on the sky. Even though the movie only has 32 seconds, the action actually took place over the course of 27 minutes.

Mars has two moons: Phobos (which is just 22 km wide on average), and Deimos, which is even smaller. They are believed to be asteroids trapped a long time ago by the Martian gravitational field.

This video isn’t the first from Curiosity to represent Phobos – just five weeks after it landed on Mars, it sed its workhorse MastCam camera to photograph the moon as it crossed the face of the sun, covering a small fraction of the star.

The Curiosity rover landed inside a geological feature called Gale Crater last August, kicking off a planned two-year surface mission to find out if the Red Planet was ever able to support (microbial) life. So far, the mission was a great success, as the rover already showed that a site called Yellowknife Bay was indeed habitable billions of years ago.

Via WikiCommons

Andrei’s background is in geophysics, and he published his first scientific paper when he was still an undergrad; now, his main focus is on how geology and geophysics can be applied to understand and protect the environment. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science – and the results are what you see today.

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