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Mars Space Science

Curiosity Rover Sees Solar Eclipse On Mars 46

Posted by samzenpus
from the differenet-view dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "Though solar eclipses are fairly common on Earth (much more in the southern hemisphere), yesterday the Mars Curiosity Rover caught sight of a partial solar eclipse in Gale Crater on the Red planet. The martian moon Phobos took a small bite out of the sun on the 37th day (Sol 37) of the rover's martian mission. The Curiosity Rover was able to take a picture of the rare event through a 'neutral density filter that reduced the sunlight to a thousandth of its natural intensity.' This protects the camera from the intense light rays seen during an eclipse or looking directly at the sun. It is possible a short movie of the event could be compiled from the data in the near future. More solar transits of Mars's moon (including the second moon Deimos) are predicted to happen in the days to come."
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Curiosity Rover Sees Solar Eclipse On Mars

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:41AM (#41361767)

    I thought we only called it an eclipse when the occluding body is of comparable angular diameter? Phobos is something like half the solar diameter (depending on latitude); I'd call it a transit.

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