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Space & Astronomy

Most detailed ever photograph of Mars' moon Deimos revealed

By T.K. Randall
April 25, 2023 · Comment icon 15 comments

The image shows Deimos in unprecedented detail. Image Credit: Emirates Mars Mission
The image was recently captured by the UAE's Emirates Mars Mission spacecraft.
You might be forgiven for thinking that Mars doesn't actually have any moons, but it does in fact have two - Phobos and Deimos - which measure 14 miles and 8 miles across respectively.

Unlike our own moon, these two much smaller moons are more akin to asteroids that, some scientists argue, may have been captured by the gravitational pull of Mars at some point in the distant past.

Up until relatively recently, we have only been able to view Phobos and Deimos from a distance, but now, thanks to the Emirates Mars Mission spacecraft, we've finally been given the opportunity to view one of them - Deimos - up closer than it has ever been seen before.
"These images and observations represent a significant step forward in our knowledge of Deimos, its atmosphere, composition, origins, and what this means for our understanding of Mars more broadly," the United Arab Emirates Space Agency said in a statement about the mission.

So far the mission has collected a great deal of interesting data that has suggested, for example, that Deimos is more likely to have originated from Mars itself, which could put the captured asteroid theory to bed once and for all.

It will be interesting to see what else the spacecraft discovers over the coming months.

Source: | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 1 year ago
On reading the pdf it seems I was a little hasty in jumping to conclusions (almost certainly the result of reading too much pseudo-scientific clap trap posted by a member here and his claim that the Valles Marinaris and the rings of Saturn were formed by the same object). The claim isn't that Valles Marinaris was directly formed by the impact, but rather the ejecta falling back to Mars afterwards. Whist this is much more plausible, to me, there still seems to be problems. Many large craters exist, on the Moon, Mars and icy moons of the outer planets, where there are secondary features produced... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Abramelin 1 year ago
The paper based its conclusions on a simulation. And the Great Rift Valley in Africa is an area that divides two new continents, or the largest part of Africa west of it and a smaller part east of it that is drifting away. Where are those continents on Mars? Where are the subduction zones?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Antigonos 1 year ago
  Hey Abe The presence of volcanoes would seem to indicate that there was at some point tectonic activity on the planet.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Abramelin 1 year ago
Volcanoes also appear above socalled "hot blobs", like Hawai. Hawai isn't formed by plate tectonics.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Antigonos 1 year ago
The Hawaiian Hot Spot beneath the ocean floor is stationary, but it’s the slow movement of the Pacific Plate over it due to sea floor spreading that has produced the Hawaiian Islands and their volcanoes. The further northwest you go, the older the Hawaiian volcanoes get because for the last 45 million years the Pacific Plate’s been moving in a northwesterly direction. The plume that is responsible for the Hawaiian Hot Spot must be truly massive, a frightening beast of a geological  feature. There’s something similar beneath Yellowstone National Park. As far as I know, as of now there is... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Abramelin 1 year ago
Same thing for the Kerguelen Plateau, btw.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Abramelin 1 year ago
No. The spreading was caused by the movement of the Pacific Plate, but the origin of the Hawaian volcanoes had no relationship with ANY plate tectonics. The volcanoes originated from that 'hot spot', the plate tectonic just smeared them out to a larger area. == Edited to add; Ok, sorry. We were saying essentially the same. Mea culpa.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Antigonos 1 year ago
I thought that’s what I said? At any rate, I agree with you. The HHS is a subterranean plume welling up from the earth and is not itself generated by plate tectonics. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Abramelin 1 year ago
Antigon, you're not familiar with one of my most irritating habits: I edit my posts ... A LOT. That's because English is not my mother tongue, so I correct any mistakes, ànd because I often remember things I should have added in the first place. Sorry.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Antigonos 1 year ago
Hey Abe No apology necessary. Thanks for letting me know, I appreciate that. I’ll keep that in mind going forward. I tend to edit a bit myself because I also find that I usually leave something out that I should have included.  

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