FP TrendingJun 30, 2020 15:51:32 IST
Unlike here on Earth, only partial or annular eclipses are visible on Mars. Even though the Red Planet has two moons – Phobos and Deimos – both are far too small to completely cover the Sun’s disk.
Also, much like Earth’s own moon, both the Martian moons cast a cone-shaped shadow as they orbit around the sun and participate in eclipses along the way, but they fall short of reaching the surface of Mars.
As per a Forbes report, both the cones reach their end before making contact with the Martian surface, and subsequently, solar eclipses on the planet do not ever completely block out the sun.
The report also mentions that the smaller and more distant moon Deimos appears as a tiny and dark spot from the surface, while the larger and closer moon Phobos creates an irregular silhouette against the sun.
The Mastcam instrument on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity was used to find out what the solar eclipses look like on the planet. Photographer Kevin Gill subsequently used the data to reconstruct videos of the eclipses Phobos and Deimos would bring about.
The Phobos eclipse recorded by Curiosity occurred on 4 April, while that of Deimos occurred on 28 March.
This is not the first time that NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover clicked the solar eclipse from the Martian surface since landing in 2012. A report by NASA says that Phobos, which is 26 kilometers wide, was clicked on 26 March 2019, while Deimos, which is 16 kilometers wide, was photographed on 17 March 2019.
According to the space agency, Phobos did not completely cover the Sun, and thus created what is known as an annular eclipse. Deimos, which is tiny compared to the disk of the Sun, was said to be transiting the Sun, according to scientists.
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