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Waspie_Dwarf

Where is Deimos?

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Where is Deimos?

Despite more than a century of observations, the orbit of the Martian moon Deimos is still not known to a high degree of accuracy, but a new study using images taken by ESA's Mars Express orbiter has provided the best orbital model to date.

45520091201imagesofboth.jpg

Mars Express image of the moon Phobos

(foreground) and Deimos (background).

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

135 years have passed since Asaph Hall discovered Phobos and Deimos, two small companions of the planet Mars. Since that time, the satellites have been imaged innumerable times from the Earth and from spacecraft, including recent measurements by the panoramic cameras on the Mars Exploration Rovers and instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Although the orbit of the inner moon, Phobos, has been calculated to an accuracy of less than 1 km, the path of more remote Deimos is less well known. In order to improve the orbital models for Deimos, researchers from Germany and Russia have developed a new technique which compares images taken by Mars Express.

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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