Space potatoes. Chinese orbiter sent a new image of Phobos


    Space potato. Chinese orbiter sends new image of Phobos

    The 50m-per-pixel image shows some distinct linear striations of Mars' moon.

    The Chinese orbiter Tianwen 1 recently transmitted stunning image of the Martian moon Phobos, writes

    Mars has two moons, Phobos and a smaller moon, Deimos. Phobos – with a diameter of 22.5 km is marked by impact craters and grooves. It is on a long, slow road to destruction due to the problems of being placed very close to its host planet.

    Tianwen 1 took the picture with his high resolution camera, the same instrument , which was used to film the landing site of the Zhurong rover. At that time, the Mars orbiter was at a distance of 5100 km from Phobos, one of the two satellites of the Red Planet.

    Tianwen 1 needed to change its position in order to capture Phobos and obtain suitable conditions for a relatively close approach and good lighting conditions from the Sun.

    The 50 m/pixel image shows some distinct linear grooves on the surface of Phobos. The Epic crater is also marked on the image. It was named after Estonian astronomer and astrophysicist Ernst Epik, who postulated the theory of a cloud of comets and icy objects far beyond Pluto, now known as the Epik-Oort cloud.

    The Tianwen-1 mission was a great success for China National space management. The orbiter accompanied the lander and the Zhurong rover, making China the second country after the United States to successfully operate a rover on the planet's surface.


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