Emily Lakdawalla • Mar 16, 2010
The far side of Phobos
Now here is an unusual image of Phobos, Mars' moon. We are looking onto the side of Phobos that faces away from Mars. ESA's Mars Express is the only spacecraft currently in Mars orbit -- the only one since the Viking orbiters -- that is capable of imaging the far side of Phobos. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey and before them Mars Global Surveyor only ever got to see the other side of the moon, the one that faces Mars (and includes the huge crater Stickney). Mars Express has taken good advantage of its season of close Phobos encounters to produce this high-resolution view.
They released another view of Phobos today, also from an unusual perspective (though one that Mars Express has imaged before), down onto the north pole. It's getting toward summer in Mars' northern hemisphere, so the pole is well lit just now.
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