NASA captures solar eclipse on Mars in latest images

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NASA’s Perseverance rover captures stunning partial solar Eclipse on Mars

NEW YORK, Feb 14: As anticipation builds for the upcoming total solar eclipse in April, space enthusiasts have been treated to a celestial spectacle of a different kind – a partial solar eclipse on Mars, captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover.

On February 8, Perseverance’s cameras documented the transit of Mars’ moon, Phobos, as it passed in front of the sun, casting a shadow over the Martian landscape. The timelapse of photos reveals Phobos’ irregular silhouette moving across Mars, providing scientists with valuable insights into the moon’s orbit and Mars’ geological composition.

According to NASA, each observation of these eclipses enables scientists to measure subtle shifts in Phobos’ orbit over time, shedding light on the moon’s gravitational influence on Mars. By studying these shifts, researchers can glean information about the composition and structure of Mars’ crust and mantle.

Phobos, Mars’ larger moon, completes three orbits around the planet every day, adding to the dynamic interplay between celestial bodies in the Martian system. This recent eclipse follows a similar event involving Mars’ smaller moon, Deimos, which occurred on January 20 and was also captured by the Perseverance rover.

Equipped with a pair of Left Mastcam-Z scouting cameras, Perseverance has been instrumental in documenting various phenomena on Mars since its landing in the Jezero Crater in February 2021. The rover’s primary mission includes searching for signs of ancient life and collecting rock and soil samples for potential return to Earth.

While Earth prepares for its own rare celestial event on April 8 – a total solar eclipse visible over North America – NASA’s latest images from Mars serve as a reminder of the ongoing exploration and discovery taking place beyond our planet’s borders. With another total solar eclipse not expected to grace North American skies for another two decades, both terrestrial and Martian observers have much to look forward to in the realm of astronomy.

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