Martian Solar Eclipse in Stages

This panel illustrates the transit of the martian moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

On the NASA web site, they call this a "Lunar" eclipse. Isn't this actually a "solar" eclipse? (the moon passing in front of the sun?) I have changed the title here to "solar" - let me know if I have got it wrong and I will change it back.

They've also got one of deimos. Is there some difference between the orbits of earth-moon-sun vs. mars-moons-sun that makes eclipses more frequent? Sort of interesting that the rovers have captured both moons eclipsing the sun in only a couple of months, and I doubt the missions were timed to coincide with these events...

Those Martian moons have tight orbits and really whip around Mars.

Moon / Radius of Orbit (km) / Orbit Period (Earth days)

Phobos / 9,380 / 0.32
Deimos / 23,500 / 1.26
Moon / 384,400 / 27.32

Over a given time, there are so many more chances of catching an eclipse on Mars.

Phobos zips around Mars about every 7 and half
hrs. Our Moon takes about a month.

So there are about 90 times as many solar
eclipses on Mars. Times two if you count Diemos.

Must be cool to watch. It's relatively close
to the Mars surface -- compared to our Moon it
might look like a big rock flying above.
I'm thinking Martian
vacations may be marketable after all.

Correction. I forgot to consider that our
Moon doesn't eclipse the Sun every time it
passes the Sun side, whereas Phobos does
because it is so close. So there are actually
many more than 90 times as many Phobos-solar
eclipses on Mars.

I was busy pining a rose on my own rear for
adroitely answering your question ("yah so I
had to correct myself, so what"), when I
realized that you were quite brilliant to ask
your question in that manner in the first place.

I would want to say "if you ever need a job
contact me". But currently I'm in no (really zero)
postion to hire now, and in fact I'd love to
hear about someone wanting to hire me....

I guess the point is - ANYONE out there
looking for an insightful mind, check out this
WALTER fellow (and then check me out for
recognizing him).

OK, Good Night All.

(yah, "hud" you also gave insightful data;
but you are clearly a veteran expert not
in need of this sort of promotion.)


:twisted: :evil: :roll: :wink: :cry: :blush: :P :P

This solar eclipse from Mars seeing towards the sun is really cool. But I doubt whether the Sun would be this size or should it be bigger. Here, in the picture above it appears alomst it appears on earth.

Also, was it so easy for the cameras installed on Opportunity's board to focus towards the sun. It you say you have edited these images, then i am unhappy. I would prefer unedited, RAW IMAGES.