NASA’s Odyssey Captures Stunning Images of Mars’ Moons

Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, have little in common with our own moon. They are lumpy, misshapen, and some of the smallest moons in the solar system–14 miles wide and 8 miles wide, respectively. Our moon is many times their size, at 2,159 miles wide. The moons orbit Mars very closely. Phobos is a distances of 3,700 miles above Mars’ surface, and flies around the planet three times a day.

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NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which has orbited the planet since 2002, recently captured stunning images of both moons in action. In the 17 images, the moons appear to dance away from each other. This it the result of the camera changing positions as the spacecraft orbits, not of the moons themselves moving–still, it provides a stunning effect.

NASA

Another image of Phobos was taken by Odyssey last year. Though the spacecraft has been in orbit since 2002, the ability to turn the camera towards the moon was only developed recently. We can expect more magical photos of these obscure space rocks in the future.

Source: NASA via Space.com