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Yes, Mars gets eclipses too! This brief animation, made from ten raw subframe images acquired with Curiosityâ€™s Mastcam on September 13 â€” the 37th Sol of the mission â€” show the silhouette of Marsâ€™ moon Phobos as it slipped in front of the Sunâ€™s limb.
The entire animation spans a real time of about 15 minutes.
As a moon Phobos really is an oddity. In addition to its small size â€“ only 16 miles (27 km) across at its widest â€“ and irregular shape, it also orbits its parent planet at a very low altitude, only 5,840 miles (9,400 km) and thus needs to travel at a relatively high velocity in order to even stay in orbit. Phobos actually orbits Mars over three times faster than Mars rotates, appearing to rise in Marsâ€™ western sky. And its orbit is so low that it canâ€™t even be seen from the polar regions!
Since Phobos, and its even more petite sibling Deimos, are so small, the Mars rovers wonâ€™t ever see a total solar eclipse. In fact these events are often referred to as transits rather than actual eclipses.
Phobos orbits Mars at an altitude of about 5,830 miles (9377 km); Mars Express image
Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/97408/curiosity-captures-a-martian-eclipse/#ixzz26lOGpgqs
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