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Press Release Images: Spirit
09-Sep-2005
 
This animation shows Phobos as a large white dot against a black background, representing Phobos, moving from the lower center toward the upward right corner. Above and to the left of it is Deimos, a smaller white dot, that also moves upward and to the right but at a much slower pace. In fact, Phobos starts out below Deimos, the smaller dot, and quickly moves past it in the sequence.
Two Moons Passing in the Night

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. "It is incredibly cool to be running an observatory on another planet," said planetary scientist Jim Bell of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., lead scientist for the panoramic cameras on Spirit and Opportunity. In this animation, both martian moons, Deimos on the left and Phobos on the right, travel across the night sky in front of the constellation Sagittarius. Part of Sagittarius resembles an upside-down teapot. Phobos is the brighter object on the right; Deimos is on the left.

Spirit acquired these enhanced-brightness images with the panoramic camera on the night of sol 585 (Aug. 26, 2005). Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the six images that make up this animation using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ Texas A&M
Browse Image (566 kB) | Large (580 kB)


This image shows Phobos as a large white dot against a black background, representing Phobos, moving from the lower center toward the upward right corner. Above and to the left of it is Deimos, a smaller white dot, that also moves upward and to the right but at a much slower pace. In fact, Phobos starts out below Deimos, the smaller dot, and quickly moves past it in the sequence.   Browse Image
  Medium Image (71 kB)
  Large (417 kB)
This animation shows Phobos as a large black dot against a white background, representing Phobos, moving from the lower center toward the upward right corner. Above and to the left of it is Deimos, a smaller black dot, representing Deimos, that also moves upward and to the right but at a much slower pace. In fact, Phobos starts out below Deimos and quickly moves past it in the sequence.
Two Moons Passing in the Night (Inverted Black and White)

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. "It is incredibly cool to be running an observatory on another planet," said planetary scientist Jim Bell of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., lead scientist for the panoramic cameras on Spirit and Opportunity. In this inverted-black-and-white animation, both martian moons, Deimos on the left and Phobos on the right, travel across the night sky in front of the constellation Sagittarius. Part of Sagittarius resembles an upside-down teapot. Phobos is the darker object on the right; Deimos is on the left. Spirit acquired these enhanced-brightness images with the panoramic camera on the night of sol 585 (Aug. 26, 2005). Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the six images that make up this animation using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ Texas A&M
Browse Image (565 kB) | Large (580 kB)


This image shows Phobos as a large black dot against a white background, representing Phobos, moving from the lower center toward the upward right corner. Above and to the left of it is Deimos, a smaller black dot, representing Deimos, that also moves upward and to the right but at a much slower pace. In fact, Phobos starts out below Deimos and quickly moves past it in the sequence.   Browse Image
  Medium Image (70 kB)
  Large (417 kB)
This animation shows a large white dot against a black background, representing Phobos, moving from the lower center toward the upward right corner. Above and to the left of it is a smaller white dot, representing Deimos, that also moves upward and to the right but at a much slower pace. In fact, Phobos starts out below Deimos and quickly moves past it in the sequence. In the lower right quadrant, a small square insert shows an oblong, potato-shaped object, white against a black background, representing Phobos, with the upper right limb missing. The right side is also partially obscured by darkness. At the top of the image, the stars of the constellation Sagittarius are labeled, counterclockwise from upper left: Kaus Australis, Alnasl, Kaus Meridionalis, Kaus Borealis, Phi Sgr, and Nunki.
Two Moons Passing in the Night (Labeled)

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. "It is incredibly cool to be running an observatory on another planet," said planetary scientist Jim Bell of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., lead scientist for the panoramic cameras on Spirit and Opportunity. In this animation, both martian moons, Deimos on the left and Phobos on the right, travel across the night sky in front of the constellation Sagittarius. Part of Sagittarius resembles an upside-down teapot. In this view, Phobos moves toward the handle and Deimos moves toward the lid. Phobos is the brighter object on the right; Deimos is on the left. Each of the stars in Sagittarius is labeled with its formal name. The inset shows an enlarged, enhanced view of Phobos, shaped rather like a potato with a hole near one end. The hole is the large impact creater Stickney, visible on the moon's upper right limb.

Spirit acquired these enhanced-brightness images with the panoramic camera on the night of sol 585 (Aug. 26, 2005). Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the six images that make up this animation using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ Texas A&M
Browse Image (580 kB) | Large (566 kB)


This image shows a large white dot against a black background, representing Phobos, moving from the lower center toward the upward right corner. Above and to the left of it is a smaller white dot, representing Deimos, that also moves upward and to the right but at a much slower pace. In fact, Phobos starts out below Deimos and quickly moves past it in the sequence. In the lower right quadrant, a small square insert shows an oblong, potato-shaped object, white against a black background, representing Phobos, with the upper right limb missing. The right side is also partially obscured by darkness. At the top of the image, the stars of the constellation Sagittarius are labeled, counterclockwise from upper left: Kaus Australis, Alnasl, Kaus Meridionalis, Kaus Borealis, Phi Sgr, and Nunki.   Browse Image
  Medium Image (89 kB)
  Large (451 kB)
 
This image shows two frames side by side. Inside the left frame, on the upper right side, is a small white circle against a black background representing Phobos, with a smaller black circle representing Deimos a little above and to the right of it. Inside the right frame is a large white circle representing an enhanced image of the light from Phobos with an oblong rock-like object representing Phobos itself inserted in the middle. A little above and to the right of that is a smaller white circle representing Deimos. In the lower left corner are several white pinpoints labeled 'The Pleiades.'
Two Moons and the Pleiades from Mars

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recently settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. In this view, the Pleiades, a star cluster also known as the "Seven Sisters," is visible in the lower left corner. The bright star Aldebaran and some of the stars in the constellation Taurus are visible on the right. Spirit acquired this image the evening of martian day, or sol, 590 (Aug. 30, 2005). The image on the right provides an enhanced-contrast view with annotation. Within the enhanced halo of light is an insert of an unsaturated view of Phobos taken a few images later in the same sequence.

On Mars, Phobos would be easily visible to the naked eye at night, but would be only about one-third as large as the full Moon appears from Earth. Astronauts staring at Phobos from the surface of Mars would notice its oblong, potato-like shape and that it moves quickly against the background stars. Phobos takes only 7 hours, 39 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That is so fast, relative to the 24-hour-and-39-minute sol on Mars (the length of time it takes for Mars to complete one rotation), that Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. Earth's moon, by comparison, rises in the east and sets in the west. The smaller martian moon, Deimos, takes 30 hours, 12 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That orbital period is longer than a martian sol, and so Deimos rises, like most solar system moons, in the east and sets in the west.

Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite with the panoramic camera, using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ Texas A&M
Browse Image | Medium Image (332 kB) | Large (1.3 MB)
 
This image shows two frames side by side. Inside the left frame, on the upper right side, is a small black circle against a white background representing Phobos, with a smaller black circle representing Deimos a little above and to the right of it. Inside the right frame is a large black circle representing a reverse black-on-white enhanced image of the light from Phobos with an oblong rock-like object representing Phobos itself inserted in the middle. A little above and to the right of that is a smaller black dot representing Deimos. In the lower left corner are several black pinpoints labeled 'The Pleiades.'
Two Moons and the Pleiades from Mars

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recently settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. In this inverted-black-and-white view, the Pleiades, a star cluster also known as the "Seven Sisters," is visible in the lower left corner. The bright star Aldebaran and some of the stars in the constellation Taurus are visible on the right. Spirit acquired this image the evening of martian day, or sol, 590 (Aug. 30, 2005). The image on the right provides an enhanced-contrast view with annotation. Within the enhanced halo of light is an insert of an unsaturated view of Phobos taken a few images later in the same sequence.

On Mars, Phobos would be easily visible to the naked eye at night, but would be only about one-third as large as the full Moon appears from Earth. Astronauts staring at Phobos from the surface of Mars would notice its oblong, potato-like shape and that it moves quickly against the background stars. Phobos takes only 7 hours, 39 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That is so fast, relative to the 24-hour-and-39-minute sol on Mars (the length of time it takes for Mars to complete one rotation), that Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. Earth's moon, by comparison, rises in the east and sets in the west. The smaller martian moon, Deimos, takes 30 hours, 12 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That orbital period is longer than a martian sol, and so Deimos rises, like most solar system moons, in the east and sets in the west.

Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite with the panoramic camera, using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ Texas A&M
Browse Image | Medium Image (332 kB) | Large (1.3 MB)
 
This sequence of images shows the rough outline of Phobos, fuzzy on the left, becoming gradually sharper in two successive images to the right. The fourth image, on the far right, is a much closer image taken from orbit around Mars by the Mars Express. It shows a bumpy, crater surface, with a circular portion missing from the upper right limb.
Phobos Viewed from Mars

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. The first two images in this sequence show gradual enhancements in the surface detail of Mars' largest moon, Phobos, made possible through a combination technique known as "stacking." In "stacking," scientists use a mathematical process known as Laplacian sharpening to reinforce features that appear consistently in repetitive images and minimize features that show up only intermittently. In this view of Phobos, the large crater named Stickney is just out of sight on the moon's upper right limb.

Spirit acquired the first two images with the panoramic camera on the night of sol 585 (Aug. 26, 2005). The far right image of Phobos, for comparison, was taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express, a European Space Agency orbiter. The third image in this sequence was derived from the far right image by making it blurrier for comparison with the panoramic camera images to the left. More information about the Mars Express image is available at http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEM21TVJD1E_1.html

Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Ames/Texas A&M/ESA
Image courtesy of ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
Browse Image | Medium Image (17 kB) | Large (45 kB)
This image shows Phobos, represented by a sequence of white dots against a black background, moving upward from the middle of the frame toward the upper right corner. To the left of that, a much shorter row of smaller white dots represents the path of Deimos. In the lower left is a label that reads: 'Spirit Sol 585, Aug. 26, 2005, Time lapse from irregular intervals.'
The Two Moons of Mars As Seen from Mars

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. "It is incredibly cool to be running an observatory on another planet," said planetary scientist Jim Bell of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., lead scientist for the panoramic cameras on Spirit and Opportunity. This time-lapse composite, acquired the evening of Spirit's martian sol 585 (Aug. 26, 2005) from a perch atop "Husband Hill" in Gusev Crater, shows Phobos, the brighter moon, on the right, and Deimos, the dimmer moon, on the left. Tiny streaks mark the trails of background stars moving across the sky or the impact of cosmic rays lighting up random groups of pixels in the image.

Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite using the panoramic camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M
Browse Image | Medium Image (77 kB) | Large (494 kB)
This image shows Phobos, represented by a white dot against a black background, moving upward from the lower middle toward the upper right corner. To the right of and above that, a much shorter row of smaller white dots represents the path of Deimos. On the lower right side, moving toward the middle, is a row of white pinpricks representing the path of the star Aldebaran. In the lower left is a label that reads: 'Spirit Sol 590, August 30, 2005, Time lapse from 170 sec. time intervals.'
The Night Sky on Mars

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. This time-lapse composite, acquired the evening of Spirit's martian sol 590 (Aug. 30, 2005) from a perch atop "Husband Hill" in Gusev Crater, shows Phobos, the brighter moon, on the left, and Deimos, the dimmer moon, on the right. In this sequence of images obtained every 170 seconds, Phobos is moving from top to bottom and Deimos is moving from bottom to top. The bright star Aldebaran forms a trail on the right, along with some other stars in the constellation Taurus. Most of the other streaks in the image mark the collision of cosmic rays with pixels in the camera.

Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the six images that make up this composite using Spirit's panoramic camera with the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M
Browse Image | Medium Image (110 kB) | Large (604 kB)
This composite shows a series of images of Phobos, represented by white dots against a black background, moving upward from the lower right corner toward the top center. To the right of that, a much shorter row of smaller white dots represents the path of Deimos. In the upper right corner is the star Aldebaran, barely a pinprick of white compared with the two moons. In the lower left is a label that reads: 'Spirit Sol 594, Sept. 4, 2005, Time lapse from 150 sec. time intervals.'
The Two Moons of Mars As Seen from "Husband Hill"

Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exloration Rover Spirit settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. Spirit took this succession of images at 150-second intervals from a perch atop "Husband Hill" in Gusev Crater on martian day, or sol, 594 (Sept. 4, 2005), as the faster-moving martian moon Phobos was passing Deimos in the night sky. Phobos is the brighter object on the left and Deimos is the dimmer object on the right. The bright star Aldebaran and some other stars in the constellation Taurus are visible as star trails. Most of the other streaks in the image are the result of cosmic rays lighting up random groups of pixels in the camera.

Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite with its panoramic camera using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M
Browse Image | Medium Image (82 kB) | Large (524 kB)

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