The larger of Mars's two moons, the lumpy-shaped Phobos, is teensy, with a diameter less than one percent the size of our own moon's. Here, you can watch it eclipse the planet's even tinier moon, Deimos, as seen from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. In real time, the Pac-Man-esque transit took 55 seconds, but it's sped up to about 11 seconds.
Mark Lemmon, a planetary scientist who helps operate Curiosity's MasCam, turned the camera to Phobos and Deimos on Aug. 1, hoping to capture a set of images that could enhance our understanding of the moons' orbits.
Phobos orbits closer to Mars than any other moon orbits to its planet, making its way around multiple times a day. Every century, it comes a few meters closer, and will probably crash into Mars or break up into a ring around the planet within the next 50 million years. It's also possible that the orbit of Deimos might be getting farther from the planet, but researchers haven't been able to determine that yet. These 41 images are the first taken from the Martian surface to show one moon eclipsing the other.
The really cool things you can prove with eclipses...
".... Einstein’s General Theory Of Relativity: Celebrating The 20th Century's Most Important Experiment
June 2, 2009 — In 1919, the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) launched an expedition to the West African island of Príncipe, to observe a total solar eclipse and prove or disprove Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Now, in a new RAS-funded expedition for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009), scientists are back.
28Astronomers Professor Pedro Ferreira from the University of Oxford and Dr Richard Massey from the University of Edinburgh, along with Oxford anthropologist Dr Gisa Weszkalnys, are paying homage to the original expedition led by Sir Arthur Eddington and celebrating the 90th anniversary of one of the key discoveries of the 20th century.
Einstein first proposed his General Theory of Relativity in 1915. It describes how any massive object, such as the Sun, creates gravity by bending space and time around it. Everything in that space is also bent: even rays of light. Consequently, distant light sources, behind the massive object, can appear in a different position or look brighter than they would otherwise.
The total eclipse of 29th May 1919 gave scientists the chance to test the theory for the first time. Eddington travelled to Príncipe to observe the eclipse and measure the apparent locations of stars near the Sun. Heavy clouds parted minutes before the eclipse and, with the Sun almost directly in front of them, the stars appeared to be shifted from the positions that Eddington had recorded in Oxford 4 months earlier – direct evidence that our nearest star shapes the space around it.
“This first observational proof of General Relativity sent shockwaves through the scientific establishment,” said Professor Ferreira. “It changed the goalposts for physics.”
To mark the anniversary, in partnership with the International Astronomical Union, São Toméan and Portuguese governments, the team will gather with local people for a series of public talks, the installation of an exhibition in the capital Santo Antόnio, and the unveiling of a plaque at the plantation where the original observation was made. Dr. Weszkalnys feels it “particularly important that in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, the dramatic role played in the history of science by a tiny island like Príncipe should not be forgotten.”
Eddington’s 1919 measurement of the bending of light was used to determine the nature of gravity. At the time, even Einstein saw no further uses. “But now that gravity is well understood,” said Dr. Massey, “the effect, known as ‘gravitational lensing’, has become one of our most powerful tools to study the Universe.”
Gravitational lenses work in a similar way to ordinary glass lenses, focusing and magnifying light – but on a huge scale. They enable astronomers like Dr Massey to see objects that are otherwise too far away or faint for even the largest telescopes on Earth.... "
I'd like to see more pics of the sun and moons in the martian sky. Just to get an idea of what future explorers might see.
THERE'S A GOOD EXPLANATION FOR WHY LIFE MAY EXIST ON MARS.
In the Earth's past there was powerful volcanic activity which could have easily spewed dirt and rocks containing microbes into outer space which not only could have eventually reached Mars but also ended up traveling in orbit through space that we now know as meteors. A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility. "We think there's about 7 million tons of earth soil sitting on Mars", says scientist and evolutionist Kenneth Nealson. "You have to consider the possibility that if we find life on Mars, it could have come from the Earth" [Weingarten, T., Newsweek, September 21, 1998, p.12].
Read my popular Internet article, ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH!
Visit my newest sites, THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION and WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2ND Edition)
Babu G. Ranganathan*
Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS
*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending special creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East" for my writings.