An amazing set of pictures has been captured by the Curiosity rover displaying 2 solar eclipses as observed from the Red Planet. Utilizing the solar filters on its Mastcam (also known as Mast Camera), it was capable of observing the Sun directly and to snap pictures of solar eclipses resulted by 2 of the moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos, transiting in front of the Sun.
Deimos is smaller at 16 km (10 miles) across at its widest point, whereas Phobos is a huge moon that is 26 km (16 miles) across. Neither incident was precisely a full eclipse as none of the moons entirely masked the Sun; however, they can be observed transiting in front of the Sun in a dramatic manner. Apart from these 2 incidents, Curiosity also snapped the above picture of the Phobos’ shadow extending across the surface of Mars.
The observations are significant as the orbit of moons of Mars had mystified researchers for some time before the probes got to the planet. The foremost instance that a rover clicked Deimos covering the Sun, it appeared to be complete 40 km (25 miles) far from its anticipated spot.
In a statement, a co-investigator with Mastcam of Curiosity and from Texas A&M University, College Station, Mark Lemmon, said, “More examinations over time assist in pinpointing the details of every orbit. Those orbits alter all the time in retort to the gravitational pull of Jupiter, Mars, or even each Martian moon hauling on the other.”
Likewise, Israeli researchers are about to attain a landmark success, as a privately-sponsored lunar lander readies to accomplish a 6-week long tour to the Moon. The spacecraft Beresheet has gently tripped into orbit around the natural satellite of Earth and is now getting ready to touch down. Should it be triumphant, Israel will be among a selected set of world superpowers to make the accomplishment.