BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Recently, NASA released photos taken of the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. Both of them are fairly new to scientists and the field of research, as Phobos and Deimos were only discovered in 1877.
NASA’s Mars orbiter, Odyssey, is the source of the recently released images. Typically, Odyssey is more focused on the study of Mars. Still, it recently took a break to watch the two moons. Their names are the Greek equivalent of Fear and Panic.
New Insight into the Two Moons of Mars
It’s not surprising that Phobos and Deimos were only discovered a little over a hundred years ago. They are both less than 15 miles wide, with Phobos being 14 miles and Deimos only 8 miles wide.
As it was orbiting these moons, Odyssey captured images of them both. The technology onboard also allowed the photos to be sent back to Earth. These offer a resemblance as to what it would look like to see the two moons with just the naked eye.
The Thermal Emission Imaging System, also known as THEMIS, on the spacecraft used visible light wavelengths to obtain these photographs. They show two moons that are asymmetrical. Both are more resemblant of potatoes than of the typical image that comes to mind when thinking of a moon.
The origins of these two Martian moons is unknown. Nonetheless, there already are multiple theories that attempt to explain how they were created. One of them claims that Phobos and Deimos may just be captured asteroids.
NASA continues to fuel the imaginations of future astronauts everywhere, with the addition of these moons to its current portfolio of impressive images returning to Earth.
As more photos are taken and additional data compiled, scientists can learn more about the development and resources of our solar system. With Mars being such a close planet to Earth, it is only logical that the moons surrounding it would be the next step in space exploration.
Image Source: Flickr