Published On: Mon, Feb 29th, 2016

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Observes Mars Moon Phobos

Phobos as celebrated by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Orange shows mid-ultraviolet (MUV) intent reflected from a aspect of Phobos, exposing a moon’s strange figure and many craters. Blue shows distant ultraviolet light rescued during 121.6 nm, that is sparse off of hydrogen gas in a extended top atmosphere of Mars. Phobos, celebrated here during a operation of 300km, blocks this light, eclipsing a ultraviolet sky.

New observations from NASA’s MAVEN Mission has scientists closer to elucidate a poser of how Mars’ moon Phobos formed.

In late Nov and early Dec 2015, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) goal done a array of tighten approaches to a Martian moon Phobos, collecting information from within 300 miles (500 kilometers) of a moon.

Among a information returned were bright images of Phobos in a ultraviolet. The images will concede MAVEN scientists to improved consider a combination of this puzzling object, whose start is unknown.

Comparing MAVEN’s images and spectra of a aspect of Phobos to identical information from asteroids and meteorites will assistance heavenly scientists know a moon’s start – either it is a prisoner asteroid or was shaped in circuit around Mars. The MAVEN data, when entirely analyzed, will also assistance scientists demeanour for organic molecules on a surface. Evidence for such molecules has been reported by prior measurements from a ultraviolet spectrograph on a Mars Express spacecraft.

The circuit of MAVEN infrequently crosses a circuit of Phobos. This picture shows a pattern of a dual orbits in early Dec 2015, when MAVEN’s Phobos observations were made.

The observations were done by a Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument aboard MAVEN.

MAVEN’s principal questioner is formed during a University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages a MAVEN project. Partner institutions embody Lockheed Martin, a University of California during Berkeley, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Source: Nancy Neal Jones, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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