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Mars Express to Make Close Fly-by of Phobos

mars phobos mars express esa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 12:52 PM


Phobos 360

The innermost moon of Mars, Phobos, is seen here in full 360 degree glory. The images were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on ESA’s Mars Express at various times throughout the mission’s 10 years.

The moon’s parallel sets of grooves are perhaps the most striking feature, along with the giant 9 km-wide Stickney impact crater that dominates one face of the 27 x 22 x 18 km moon.

The origin of the moon’s grooves is a subject of much debate. One idea assumes that the crater chains are associated with impact events on the moon itself.

Another idea suggests they result from Phobos moving through streams of debris thrown up from impacts 6000 km away on the surface of Mars, with each ‘family’ of grooves corresponding to a different impact event.

Mars Express has imaged Phobos from a wide range of distances, but will make its closest flyby yet on 29 December 2013, at just 45 km above the moon.

Although this is too close to take images, gravity experiments will give insight into the interior structure of Phobos.

Credit: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

"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    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

    Space Cadet

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  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:15 PM


Mars Express makes closest-ever Phobos fly by

On 29 December 2013, ESA’s Mars Express will make the closest flyby yet of the Red Planet’s moon Phobos, skimming past only 45 km above its surface.

As the spacecraft passes close to Phobos, it will be pulled slightly off course by the moon’s gravity, by a few tens of centimetres. This small deviation will be measured using the spacecraft’s radio signals, and then translated into measurements of gravity, mass and density at different locations on the moon.

This animation shows how the flyby would appear from a vantage point near Mars Express, with Phobos passing by beneath. The relative movement between the spacecraft and moon has been speeded up ten times faster than actual.

Credit: ESA

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

"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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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:17 PM


Mars Express makes closest-ever Phobos fly by as seen from Phobos

On 29 December 2013, ESA’s Mars Express will make the closest flyby yet of the Red Planet’s moon Phobos, skimming past only 45 km above its surface.

As the spacecraft passes close to Phobos, it will be pulled slightly off course by the moon’s gravity, by a few tens of centimetres. This small deviation will be measured using the spacecraft’s radio signals, and then translated into measurements of gravity, mass and density at different locations on the moon.

This animation shows the flyby (speeded up) as if you were standing on Phobos, with Mars in the background and Mars Express sweeping out an arc above. Toward the end of the sequence, Mars Express disappears behind Mars and out of sight of Phobos.

Credit: ESA

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

"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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#4    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:19 PM


Mars Express makes closest-ever Phobos fly - view of Mars, Phobos and spacecraft

On 29 December 2013, ESA’s Mars Express will make the closest flyby yet of the Red Planet’s moon Phobos, skimming past only 45 km above its surface.

As the spacecraft passes close to Phobos, it will be pulled slightly off course by the moon’s gravity, by a few tens of centimetres. This small deviation will be measured using the spacecraft’s radio signals, and then translated into measurements of gravity, mass and density at different locations on the moon.

Closest approach will occur at 07:09:00 GMT (07:09:00 CET) on 29 December.

This animation shows the flyby speeded up 1000 times; it shows the relative positions of Mars, Phobos and Mars Express.

Credit: ESA

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

"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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#5    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

    Space Cadet

  • 33,058 posts
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  • Location:Bexleyheath, Kent, UK

  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:22 PM


Mars Express makes closest-ever Phobos fly by - view from Phobos

On 29 December 2013, ESA’s Mars Express will make the closest flyby yet of the Red Planet’s moon Phobos, skimming past only 45 km above its surface.

As the spacecraft passes close to Phobos, it will be pulled slightly off course by the moon’s gravity, by a few tens of centimetres. This small deviation will be measured using the spacecraft’s radio signals, and then translated into measurements of gravity, mass and density at different locations on the moon.

Closest approach will occur at 07:09:00 GMT (07:09:00 CET) on 29 December.

This animation shows the view in real time from the surface of Phobos.

Credit: ESA

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

"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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Also tagged with mars, phobos, mars express, esa

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