Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
15-12-2010 12:48 CST
Don't blink when you play the video below -- it's only 15 seconds long, but it's so cool. It's an animation composed of Viking 1 Orbiter images. It shows a dust storm over the spot on Mars where its lander was sitting. And, as you watch, you can see the shadow cast by Phobos shooting across the clouds. I don't know how Daniel Macháček spotted this in 33-year-old data. Hats off to him!
Just think -- more than thirty years ago, a Martian lander was giving us our first views from the surface of another planet while an autonomous orbit observed the stormy weather swirling overhead. Daniel also sent me a bunch of the stills from this sequence. It's so hard to spot Phobos' shadow!
Hopefully we'll be seeing more new pictures from Phobos soon; Mars Express is going to be having another series of encounters with the moon, and a Tweet from ESA suggests that they'll be reactivating the Mars Express blog to follow it.
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