PIA12290: Opportunity for Moon-Gazing
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Opportunity
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 1024 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA12290.tif (72.71 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA12290.jpg (21.49 kB)

Click on image above for all movie download options

Original Caption Released with Image:

Click here for animation of PIA12290
Click on the image for larger animation

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to snap pictures of Mars' moon Deimos. The images were taken about 10 p.m. local time on Mars or 8:00 Universal Time on Jan. 14, 2017 (Sol 4612).

Three frames were taken with long exposures to measure Deimos' position with respect to the background stars. Deimos is too bright for these images and saturated the camera detector, causing the vertical streak running through it. The image has been processed to emphasize the stars, which can be seen throughout the image as streaks due to the long exposure, and move toward the lower left. One can see the slower motion of the moon across the sky when compared to stars. Due to its distance from Mars, the apparent motion of Deimos is slow and in the same direction of the stars. Compared to our moon, Deimos appears to move faster. It is much closer to Mars than our moon is to Earth.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. For more information about Opportunity, visit http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M

Image Addition Date:
2017-01-24