NASA Curiosity Mars rover records timelapse of Phobos moon rising

Jul 5, 2013
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We've seen a lot of neat photos from Mars thanks to NASA's latest Curiosity rover that's currently putzing its way around the surface of the red planet. The latest imagery that it has sent back is a rather simple, but neat timelapse video of one of Mars' moons rising into the Martian sky.

The video is simply a timelapse consisting of 86 photos that were taken by Curiosity's navigation camera, and they were stitched together to create a 30-second timelapse. The set of photos were taken shortly after Mars' sunset on June 28. The timelapse video shows the moon rising over the course of about 30 minutes.

In the video, you'll notice how small Phobos appears in the sky, and that's mostly because it's just 14 miles in diameter (compared to Earth's Moon, which is over 2,100 miles in diameter). If you're wondering about the mysterious ring glow in the video, officials say it's is an artifact caused by the scattering of light inside the camera.

It's not much to look at, really, since it just looks like another star in the sky, but it's definitely unique to witness a moon rising on another planet in our solar system. The photos were taken from Gale Crater, which Curiosity arrived to back in August. The rover is expected to be active for at least another year.

Curiosity has yet to leave Gale Crater, but NASA plans to take it elsewhere in the future. It's ultimate destination is the base of the mysterious Mount Sharp, which stands at 3.4 miles high. It's no Mount Everest, but NASA thinks Mount Sharp holds some secrets that the rover could uncover about possible life on Mars.

VIA: Space.com


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