You must have seen a solar eclipse from Earth many times, but have you ever thought of seeing a solar eclipse from Mars? Thanks to NASA, this has been possible. NASA has shared a video in which one of the two moons of Mars is casting its shadow on the Sun. This is seen from the surface of Mars.
This interesting video has been captured in the camera by the space agency’s Perseverance rover. During this time a small, potato-sized moon of the Red Planet, Phobos, came between Mars and the Sun. “You’re so good that’s why you’re honest. I can’t take my eyes off you.” NASA wrote while sharing the video on its Instagram account.
These observations are helping scientists better understand the light shift in the Moon’s orbit, revealing how its gravity shapes the crust and mantle, the two uppermost layers of Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover used its next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2 to capture video.
The video shows how a small object comes between Mars and the Sun. The moon Phobos is 157 times smaller than Earth’s moon. Scientists have found that the gravity of Phobos produces small tidal forces on Mars, causing it to change its orbit, and because of which it is getting closer to the surface of Mars. Eventually Phobos will hit the surface of Mars in millions of years.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which made the rover, has said that this eclipse lasted only 40 seconds, which is much shorter than the solar eclipse through Earth’s moon.
Earlier also the search missions sent to Mars had captured many solar eclipses of Mars, but the Perseverance rover has captured the most zoomed video of the Phobos solar eclipse and it has been recorded at a high frame rate.
Perseverance landed on Mars in February 2021. Its main purpose is to look for signs of old microbial life. It is studying the rocks and dust of Mars and collecting them for future manned missions. It will bring these samples back to Earth for further analysis.