The NASA Mars Odyssey reached a new milestone when the spacecraft was able to observe Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, during an entire phase of the full moon. The feat was realized with the help of an infrared camera, focused on Phobos from September 2017.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory division has shared some images of the moon and, at first glance, looks like a fantastic jawbreaker with intense colors. The new information could play an essential role in trying to understand more about Phobos, which is the largest of the two moons that orbit Mars. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (also known as THEMIS) can record how the surface temperature changes on Phobos when the satellite travels around the red planet.
A NASA representative stated that the new image is quite fascinating as it shows the hottest spot in the middle and how the temperature starts to fall as the moon continues to move. Since the new images are captured from a slightly different angle, the information transmitted by them remains new and exciting.
Mars Odyssey Orbiter Revealed Phobos from NASA at a full moon phase
The full moon was recorded in April 2019 when THEMIS focused on Phobos while the sun was behind the spacecraft. The image of the full moon will facilitate the study of the composition of the material, while the most significant number of half-moon shots is better for the relief of surface textures.
A team of researchers is already at work trying to learn more about the mineral present on the surface of the moon. At this point, it is already known that nickel and iron can be found on the surface. By analyzing the balance of minerals, researchers can determine the nature of Phobos, which could be a captured asteroid or even an agglomeration of fragments that have been pushed into space with a significant impact.
The spaceship Odyssey orbits the planet since 2001 and has sent a great deal of valuable information. It is estimated that it will remain operational until 2025.
Andre Blair is the main editor of Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Toronto; and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) of the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes about a variety of problems.