The engineers of the Perseverance rover accidentally filmed a video that captured the Mars satellite, Deimos. In this case, the device itself was busy with another study.
NASA’s Perseverance rover was able to capture the miniature moon Deimos while exploring the planet. In the photo, the object flickers slightly away from the Red Planet.
“Watching the sky is fun wherever you are. We shot this short time-lapse to watch the clouds, and we caught something else: take a closer look and you will see Deimos, one of the two moons of Mars, ”the members of the Perseverance team wrote on the mission’s official Twitter account.
Perseverance, which landed in the 45 km wide Jezero crater in February, routinely studies the rocks and mud of the Red Planet. The main tasks of the rover are to search for signs of ancient life on Mars and collect dozens of samples for subsequent return to Earth.
Sky watching is fun no matter where you are. I took this short time lapse movie to watch for clouds, and caught something else: look closely and you’ll see Deimos, one of two moons of Mars.
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) August 20, 2021
Deimos, 12.4 km wide, orbits 23458 km above Mars, making one circle around the planet every 30 hours. The other moon of Mars, Phobos, has a diameter of about 22 km and orbits at an altitude of only 9234 km. Most astronomers believe that both moons are asteroids that were captured by the gravity of Mars.
NASA’s rovers have photographed the planet’s two tiny moons before. For example, Curiosity has captured many images of Phobos and Deimos since landing at the bottom of Gale Crater in August 2012. Curiosity’s images include an amazing time-lapse video of each moon passing in front of the Sun, causing partial solar eclipses.