JPL/ASU: Examining Mars's Moon Phobos in a Different Light

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JPL/ASU: Examining Mars's Moon Phobos in a Different Light

Postby bystander » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:38 pm

Examining Mars's Moon Phobos in a Different Light
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Arizona State Univ | Mars Odyssey | 2017 Oct 04

Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
This image combines two products from the first pointing at the Martian moon Phobos
by the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, on Sept. 29, 2017. Surface
temperature information from observation in thermal-infrared wavelengths is overlaid
on a more detailed image from a visible-light observation.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

NASA's longest-lived mission to Mars has gained its first look at the Martian moon Phobos, pursuing a deeper understanding by examining it in infrared wavelengths.

The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter observed Phobos on Sept. 29, 2017. Researchers have combined visible-wavelength and infrared data to produce an image color-coded for surface temperatures of this moon, which has been considered for a potential future human-mission outpost. ...

Looking across the image from left to right presents a sequence of times of day on the Martian moon, from before dawn, to sunrise, to increasing amounts of time after dawn. This provides information about how quickly the ground warms, which is related to the texture of the surface. As barefoot beach walks can confirm, sand warms or cools quicker than rocks or pavement. ...

Phobos has an oblong shape with an average diameter of about 14 miles (22 kilometers). Cameras on other Mars orbiters have previously taken higher-resolution images of Phobos, but none with the infrared information available from THEMIS. Observations in multiple bands of thermal-infrared wavelengths can yield information about the mineral composition of the surface, as well as the surface texture. ...
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