Solar eclipses on Mars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
An eclipse of the Sun by Phobos as viewed on Mars (August 20, 2013).

The two moons of MarsPhobos and Deimos—are much smaller than the Moon, greatly reducing solar eclipses on that planet.[1][2].

Eclipses[change | change source]

Phobos[change | change source]

Real-time eclipse of Phobos over the sun on August 20, 2013).

Phobos is only 20 by 25 km (12 by 16 mi) and has a rapid orbital motion, so someone on Mars would only see the solar eclipse for no longer than about thirty seconds. Phobos also takes only 7 hours 39 minutes to orbit Mars, while a Martian day is 24 hours 37 minutes long, meaning that Phobos can create two eclipses per Martian day.

Deimos[change | change source]

Deimos is too small, 15 by 10 km (9.3 by 6.2 mi), to cause an eclipse. The best someone on Mars would see would be a small object passing the Sun.

View from Earth[change | change source]

Both moons are too small to cast a shadow on Mars that can be seen from Earth. However, since the creation of artificial satellites, the shadow of Phobos on Mars has been seen.

References[change | change source]

  1. Boyle, Alan (9 March 2004). "See a solar eclipse from Mars". NBC News. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  2. "NASA Rovers Watching Solar Eclipses by Mars Moons". 8 March 2004. Retrieved 4 March 2016.