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Curiosity Views Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos

mars phobos sun curiosity rover

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:48 AM

NASA Mars Rover Views Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos


www.nasa.gov said:

PASADENA, Calif. – Images taken with a telephoto-lens camera on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity catch the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos, passing directly in front of the sun -- the sharpest images of a solar eclipse ever taken at Mars.

Phobos does not fully cover the sun, as seen from the surface of Mars, so the solar eclipse is what’s called a ring, or annular, type.  A set of three frames from Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam), taken three seconds apart as Phobos eclipsed the sun, is at http://photojournal....atalog/PIA17356 .

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 29 August 2013 - 12:58 AM.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    cacoseraph

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 07:21 AM

What a truly amazing time we live in!  We just looked at pictures of an eclipse from a different freaking world!  That is just mind boggling and humbling and wonderful!


Also, my brother got to design a circuit for one of the mars buggies.  I'll have to ask him which one it was.  And to be fair, those things have thousands upon thousands of circuits and dealing with just one isn't, like, kinda, that big of a deal... but still, who can say, yeah, i designed a chunk of thing that totally operates on another planet?!


#3    synchronomy

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:22 PM

View Postcacoseraph, on 03 September 2013 - 07:21 AM, said:

What a truly amazing time we live in!  We just looked at pictures of an eclipse from a different freaking world!  That is just mind boggling and humbling and wonderful!


Also, my brother got to design a circuit for one of the mars buggies.  I'll have to ask him which one it was.  And to be fair, those things have thousands upon thousands of circuits and dealing with just one isn't, like, kinda, that big of a deal... but still, who can say, yeah, i designed a chunk of thing that totally operates on another planet?!
It is staggering that technology is able to capture such an event.
The mathematics involved in computing the exact location and time for such an event to take place here on Earth are staggeringly complex.  To be able to compute it from a vantage point so far away blows my mind.  And to have it done with such accuracy that pictures can be sent back to us is mind-knumbing.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#4    Asadora

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:10 PM

Awe-struck!
:tu:

"From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light. Like those extraordinary stars of whose origins we are ignorant, and of whose fate, once they have vanished, we know even less, such men have neither forebears nor descendants: they are the whole of their race."  -- Jean de la Bruyere 1645-1696.

#5    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:01 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 04 September 2013 - 09:22 PM, said:

To be able to compute it from a vantage point so far away blows my mind.
The maths is the same whether you are calculating it an eclipse on Earth or an eclipse on Mars. The tricky bit is knowing the exact distance between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun (or Mars, Phobos, Sun).

View Postsynchronomy, on 04 September 2013 - 09:22 PM, said:

And to have it done with such accuracy that pictures can be sent back to us is mind-knumbing.
Less accuracy is required for calculating a Transit of the Sun by Phobos than a total solar eclipse on Earth. Since the Moon and the Sun appear to be virtually the same size when viewed from Earth the path of totality is very narrow. Just a few miles off in your calculations and you will miss it.

Phobos, on the other hand, is appreciably smaller than the solar disk when viewed from the Martian surface. The path under which the transit will be visible is, therefore, much wider than that for totality on Earth. This also means that from any given spot on the surface the phenomenon will be more common than a total solar eclipse on Earth.

In fact this is not the first time that a rover has observed such a transit. Opportunity saw one in November 2010.



"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#6    Drayno

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:29 AM

Goodness, I feel fortunate to be alive, indeed..

I wonder what people like Galileo would think if they were alive to see this.

"One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves." - Camus

#7    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:23 AM

View PostHatake Kakashi, on 05 September 2013 - 09:29 AM, said:

I wonder what people like Galileo would think if they were alive to see this.
Vindicated I expect.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#8    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:27 AM


Mars' Moon Phobos Eclipses the Sun, as Seen by Curiosity

This video clip shows the larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passing directly in front of the sun, in an eclipse photographed by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.

Credit: NASA/JPL

Source: NASA - Multimedia

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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