Feeds

Mars Express sends postcard from Phobos

Mars moon in all its hi-res glory

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Photographs taken by ESA's Mars Express spacecraft show the surface of Mars moon Phobos in greater detail than ever before. The images offer for the first time an unblurred continuous view of the moon's surface at the highest resolution.

The 10 images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard the spacecraft, show the Mars-facing side of the moon, enabling the body's shape, topography, colour, 'regolith' light-scattering properties, and rotational and orbital states to be determined. The regolith is a small-grained material resulting from multiple impacts on the moon's surface.

Phobos, captured by ESA?s Mars Express

Phobos possesses a 'groove network', a regularly spaced network of channels, seen in great detail in the new images. Scientists are unsure whether the grooves existed before the large cratering events, and exist deep within Phobos, or came after the cratering events and were superimposed on them. The images may help answer this question.

The Mars Express spacecraft passes near Phobos periodically for about one hour, during which time it trains its camera on the moon's surface. It will grab more snaps of Phobos over the coming months.

Mars Express is also charged with studying the orbit of Phobos, to hopefully determine whether the moon is truly in a 'death spiral' which will result in its eventual destruction. ®

Related stories

Lack of cash killed Beagle 2
UK backs Aurora Euro space programme
Final report on Beagle 2
Beagle 2 was 'poorly managed'

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.